‘Deep down I still felt awesome’

03 September 2014

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Sascha Bonus raced on board Old Pulteney for over 26,000 miles during the Clipper 2013-14 Race, she shares some of her best moments…

Best Moment:

Ok I've got two here. Coming in third in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, the whole race actually. I've know about that race since I was a kid and it was always my dream to do it. We had a fantastic race! The start line was epic! We were down to 13 crew plus Patrick, we hardly slept and we really had to push ourselves to the limit. It paid off in the end though with our first podium place! So proud of that moment, to top it off it was New Year’s Eve. It was truly magical!

The second was helming the last hour of the last race and bringing the boat over the finish line. We had Jamaica Get All Right breathing down our necks and PSP Logistics right in front of us. I was able to pass PSP Logistics at the last minute and beat them by about four metres!

Most Challenging Moment:

There are so many of these… One night in the Taiwan Straits, we had two night watches that night and I was watch leader. It was rough and cold out with a million fishing boats and other vessels around. I so did not want to be in charge that night but I was. I just wanted someone else to do it. I lay in my bunk for an hour before going up on deck thinking about all these crazy things that could go wrong. I had to put aside my fears and do it anyways. Oh and guess what? Nothing went wrong!

Best wildlife moment:

Seeing dolphins swim and jump through phosphorescence was so beautiful.

Most unique moment:

Seeing a moon-bow. I actually saw a rainbow created by the moon after a storm in the Southern Ocean. It looked just like a rainbow but it was all white. All while surfing down huge waves doing 20 knots plus. I'm sure I will never see that again.

Biggest achievement:

The whole race. I grew up sailing and racing and it had always been my dream to be an ocean racer. As soon as I heard about the Clipper Race, I knew I was going to do it. My first email to Crew Recruitment Manager Dave Cusworth was in 2009. At first I wanted to do the 2011-12 race, but I wasn't quite sure I could be ready in time. Then I heard the race was getting new boats for the 2013-14 race so I decided to wait.

Three years of saving money, paperwork, forms, payments, planning, researching and buying gear oh and lets not forget about training…

I did all three levels back to back with Crew Allocation in the middle. This whole experience has been the greatest achievement of my life.

‘Why am I doing this’ moment?

I had a few of those in the Southern Ocean. I always knew why I was doing it... It was more like... ‘I paid to do this?’ moments. You're cold, you're beyond wet, you're exhausted, you're sore, everything you do takes so much energy and effort. But deep down I still felt awesome... most of the time.

Funniest moment: Oh there were so many funny moments... We laughed almost non-stop the whole race. You kind of had to be there for most of them to make any sense.

Most of them involved round the world crew member Kees Postma and I. Kees and I made a video while eating lunch after a particularly crazy morning we had in the Southern Ocean. It was ‘kitemare’ number four I believe. Our spinnaker ended up ripped, in the water and under the boat. While we were trying to retrieve it our main halyard snapped. We laughed hysterically while re-telling the story.

Craziest moment:

Emailing Dave Cusworth this morning and telling him I might want to do the 2015-16 race! I clearly have issues! Ok craziest moment during the race... Doing a headsail change one night about five or six days out of Brisbane. It was really rough and twice we had huge waves wash us all from the bow back to the mast. During one wave we were dragging the Yankee 3 up the fore deck and it got washed back all the way to the shrouds. My shoes got washed right off my feet.

It was awesome!

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