Clipper Race celebrates World Oceans Day

08 June 2015

In support of 8 June’s international World Oceans Day, an official United Nations designated day, we’re celebrating our love of ocean adventuring and ever-growing passion for discovering our beautiful Blue Planet.

72 per cent of the world’s surface is covered by water so whilst you may have travelled far and wide, unless you get out sailing you will hardly know the planet we call home.

The 40,000 mile Clipper Race, the only event of its kind which allows amateur sailors to experience the exhilaration of ocean racing regardless of experience, involves a total of six ocean crossings. These include three Atlantic Ocean, two Southern Ocean, and of course one crossing of the mighty North Pacific.

In addition to discovering some of Mother Nature’s lesser known secrets, the wildlife and sights found at sea are unlike any you can experience on earth.

2013-14 race crew member Caroline Marrows who completed the entire circumnavigation on board Team Garmin explained some of her ocean highlights: “While sailing across many oceans as part of the Clipper Race, my favourites were the South Atlantic rolling into the Southern Ocean. You feel the vastness of the planet when you can’t see land, the clarity of the night skies as you follow stars like the Southern Cross and the amazing colours as the sun rises.

“At times, the phosphorescence is like fairy lights in the water as the bow cut through the waves. I never failed to get excited seeing dolphins, whales and even the odd shark or turtle. It was a rare and privileged sight to see an Albatross making its way across the Southern Ocean.”

She adds: “Each ocean is different, though it was concerning to see the amount of man-made debris such as plastic bags and bottles as well as organic matter (including tree trunks) as we made our way through the Philippines, all of which threaten the balance of this unique place. You don’t appreciate the scale of impact you can have on our world until you see it for yourself. Sailors or not, it’s up to all of us to help keep our oceans clean.”

As we countdown ever closer to the Clipper 2015-16 Race, we asked our skippers to recount their top ocean memories.

Ashley Skett says: “One of the best memories I have at sea was mid-Atlantic during a crossing in 2011. There wasn’t a breath of wind and we were drifting on still, glassy water in the sun. Then we spotted a pod of Pilot Whales so we made our way over. Pretty soon we were jumping off the boat into water which was more than 4000m deep and getting close and personal with these amazing creatures.”

Qingdao skipper Igor Gotlibovych recalls his favourite memory.Gliding over tropical waters at night, the spinnaker illuminated by the full moon, the stars above reflecting in the sea below, the depth of water occasionally pierced by a flash of phosphorescence. Incidentally, the spinnaker stayed up for seven nights - all blending into one timeless moment of sailing harmony.”

If you want to discover our Blue Planet and experience Mother Nature’s glory for yourself, we still have a few places left to get on board the Clipper 2015-16 Race and we’re also now recruiting for the 2017-18 edition. Head here to find out more.

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