For twenty-five year old Texan Drake Forney the American Coast-to-Coast Leg was particularly special because it has allowed him the chance to sail into and around his home country. Now as he edges closer to the end of his circumnavigation, Drake says he has learnt a lot about himself and has already planned his next adventure, albeit of a very different variety.

Dockside at the Liberty Landing Marina, Drake, shares his experience of the last 37,000 miles on board Unicef, the highs and excitement of what he is done so far and what lies ahead.

It feels really good to be back in the US, I’ve been gone a long time so it’s just an extra layer of happiness to be home, even if Texas is still quite far away. Sailing past the Statue of Liberty on the way here too was special. In a couple of days my mom and my sister are going to come and visit me and a few days after that my fiancée is coming. We’re getting married two months after I get back so she has been busy planning the wedding. I might be in a little bit of trouble for leaving her to it but I do try to help out over email sometimes.

Our position in Race 11 was considerably less of a good performance after our last two podium places. But we were really happy with Races 9 and 10, and it’s still good to be here in New York, especially as we were still earlier than expected. We will just see how we can do in the next race.

Tropical Storm Colin was quite an experience so that was definitely interesting. We kinda messed around with our sails a bit so it ended up not being as good for us as we had hoped for. We tend to do pretty good in storms and thought we might have had some benefit from it. We had a bit of a reefing problem with our sliders and leech lines so it didn’t turn out so well for us but that’s alright, we didn’t get super lucky this time.

The race has given me the opportunity to take a good look at myself and who I am. Living in a small environment with a lot of people, you learn about the social dynamics and how you are incorporated in that. I noticed some things that maybe I even knew about myself already, maybe some that I didn’t, things that I can work on and apply once I get back. Now that I’ve seen them in this intense environment, I could really see them to the maximum.

Thinking about how far I’ve sailed already and knowing that soon I’ll be able to say that I’ve circumnavigated the planet makes me feel pretty good. The end still seems a long way away for some reason. Hopefully when we start the next race it will sink in that it’s the last ocean crossing and I can absorb that and take that in. It’s been a long time and that weariness sets in, but I’m still excited about the races to come, the opportunities, and completing the task.

The wedding is exciting. I always thought I had something, maybe even a bigger thing, after the race to look forward to. I think it would be hard for me to go back to same old same old, so I’m continuing with the journey, continuing with the excitement. Life is going to continue to change, continue to be different in a great way so we are really excited about that.

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