Clipper Race Crew Catch-up: Novice to Watch Leader

22 January 2018

The last time we caught up with round the worlder Roseann McGlinchey was June, 2017, and her total sailing experience only consisted of three levels of Clipper Race training. Seven months and over 20,000 nautical miles later, it’s fair to say a lot has changed.

Since the Clipper 2017-18 Race began on August 20, 2017 in Liverpool, Roseann and her team have crossed three oceans and taken part in six races, the highlight being a win in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Clipper 70 Class, which doubled as Race 5. But still the 24-year-old from Lifford, Ireland, has trouble believing what she has already accomplished at the half way point of the race.

“It hasn’t sunk in on how far we’ve sailed!” says Roseann.

“Some days it feels like we haven’t even left Liverpool. How did I make it half way round the world from not even being able to sail before?

“At the start, I was quite nervous moving around the boat, and getting used to everything and learning where everything was and the process was quite difficult to understand. But the more we’ve done it, the more we’ve improved and my Skipper, Conall Morison, has been great explaining and coaching us through everything. So, I feel my skills have definitely developed.”

Roseann’s skills have developed to the point that she is now one of the Watch Leaders on board, a position she has found really rewarding.

She explains: “It’s been really nice to be so young and being able to lead teams. It was something I had never done before the Clipper Race. I think we did a really good job this race teaching the new crew, helping them learn to be just as good as the round the worlders. They were all really confident by the end and could do everything that we could which was really nice to see.”

Another sign of how far Roseann has come since she first began her Clipper Race journey is her reaction to the Southerly Busters that hit the fleet during Race 6: The Wondrous Whitsundays Race, from Hobart to Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays. Of the 80 knot winds and electrical storms, Roseann says: “We couldn’t even see the difference from the sky and the sea, it was so pitch black after the lightning. I’d never seen anything like that before so it was really cool!”

Next up for Roseann will be the Asia Pacific Leg 5, which is made up of two races; Race 7 which takes the fleet from the Whitsundays to Sanya; and Race 8 which goes from Sanya to Qingdao. However whilst she can’t wait to get back on and race again, she admits it will be hard to say goodbye to the Whitsundays.

“The sail into the Whitsundays was amazing. There were islands everywhere, the water was just getting bluer and bluer as the sky got lighter.

“This has been one of my favourite legs so far. With the shorter races, it gives you a chance to have a little break in between and we could really sail better because of it. You tend to get a bit tired in the longer legs and we didn’t really have that problem this time so we could constantly keep learning and doing new stuff and pushing ourselves that little bit further which has made for some really really, good racing. currently sits in tenth position overall and is yet to play its Joker Card. Click here to see the overall Clipper 2017-18 Race standings.

Race 7, to Sanya, China, will begin on Monday 29 January. To follow the action, keep an eye on the Race Viewer and on the Clipper Race Facebook Live page.

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