Linda McDavitt, 69, from Austin, Texas, USA, is the oldest female round the world crew member in this year’s race.
Before the race, Linda built upper body strength doing pilates and pole dancing (as recommended by another sailor).
After two consecutive podium places since leaving Seattle in April, things have fallen into place for Linda and her team ClipperTelemed+ on the USA Coast-to-Coast Leg.
As she nears the end of the journey, Linda reflects on what she has achieved with ClipperTelemed+.
‘I’ve always wanted to sail round the world’
I have sailed since I was 15 and love racing. I signed up to the Clipper Race because I could not think of a better way to accomplish the goal of sailing round the world than with a great team of others looking for a great adventure and for me, doing what I love. I also wanted to learn about tides, currents, offshore racing and long distance legs, navigation, and in general, experience the dream of a lifetime with a group of like-minded people.
I am a long-time member of Austin Yacht Club and sail J22, Sunfish and SouthCoast 21 on Lake Travis, so very different yachts from the Clipper 70.
‘Working with others to accomplish a common goal’
I love being part of an awesome group of people from all over the world and visiting sailing ports in other countries. Seeing nature at its finest and learning how to deal with what Mother Nature throws at you has also been a highlight for me.
‘The last race into New York City was the best yet’
The USA Coast-to-Coast Leg was a great trip. It was an adventure of a lifetime to go through one of the seven wonders of the modern world - my bucket list is getting shorter.
On Race 11, there so much close racing and it was really motivating to see the other boats the whole time. We had a real duel with Garmin and were playing leapfrog throughout the race. It was very fun, very competitive and made everyone work that much harder.
We were living in a washing tub the last few days with Tropical Storm Colin, but we kept pushing and got very good speeds which helped us towards New York.
The final sail up the Hudson was also really exciting, especially to sail past the Statue of Liberty because I’ve never been that close to it.
‘Think faster, go faster’ closer to Texas
I tried to think faster to go faster, especially as we got closer to my home, Texas.
We were so excited to be first into New York, there were quite a few tears as we crossed the finish line.
‘Not the oldest but the wisest’
This race, we were the oldest average crew, but as Rich, the official race documentary cameraman said, we are not the oldest but the wisest.
We did have some very strong crew this race and there was some really good crew work happening.
‘It’s been a long year’
I am excited to get on and finish the circumnavigation and kind of anxious to get home. It’s been a long year. I am ready to go home.
Once I get home, life is going to keep going. My niece is expecting her first child, I missed my other niece’s wedding and my favourite aunt passed away while I have been at sea. I keep missing things so now I get to go home and catch up with everyone.
I have really enjoyed fundraising for my charity back home Team Mobility while sailing round the world, and will be continuing to volunteer there.
‘Friends for life’
The ClipperTelemed+ crew are already planning a couple of adventures together once the race ends. I know places I can go and stay round the world now and that is something to look forward to once we all go our separate ways.
The whole adventure has been great - meeting new people and seeing new places and cultures.
‘I’ve changed as a person’
I’ve become a whole lot more tolerant, patient and laidback. I am much more ready to say “yes sir”, not “do this”.
If you would like to join Linda and race the world’s oceans we are now recruiting for the Clipper 2017-18 Race. Please get in touch via the apply section of the website.Join The Race