From one ocean challenge to another

02 December 2014

After racing across the Pacific Ocean, the planet’s largest expanse of water, Clipper 2013-14 Race crew member Ali Murrell is on a mission to produce a unique range of board shorts made of recycled materials sourced from the world’s oceans.

“It’s a different sort of challenge than the conditions we faced in the Pacific, but a challenge none the less,” explains Ali, a crew member on board Derry~Londonderry~Doire.

London-based Ali was on board the Northern Irish entry for Legs 6 and 7 of the 2013-14 edition and was part of the team that successfully rescued fellow crew member Andrew Taylor while racing to San Francisco.

“Working with the team to help Andrew and deal with the Man Overboard incident in the Pacific has to go down as the biggest of the challenges I faced,” reveals Ali.

“The hour or two that we lost sight of him for is not something you forget in a hurry.”

Racing from Qingdao, China to America saw Ali spend close to a month at sea.

“Sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco was a definite once in a lifetime moment,” continues Ali.

“The weather was beautiful and we arrived at the perfect time of day – unlike some of our 4am arrivals! Another highlight would have to be surfing down the back of waves, at 20 knots, in darkness on a broad reach, two days into my first leg, after six months of not having been in a boat. Then I knew I was sailing!”

After clocking up over 10,000 miles at sea during the Clipper Race, Ali, alongside his business partner, is about to launch his next challenge, involving the fashion range, Riz Boardshorts

“I’ve returned to the UK with a renewed passion for the ocean which I’m currently ploughing into my brand Riz Boardshorts, and our mission to turn marine litter – plastic bottles from the beaches and the ocean – into beautiful surfshorts.”

“Experts estimate that there are 46,000 pieces of plastic in every square mile of the ocean and the campaign hopes to aid the progress toward plastic free oceans.”

You can learn more about Ali’s project by clicking here.

“Taking part in the Clipper Race has definitely given me a new perspective for what really matters in life. I was lucky to get some time afterwards to travel with my fiancé Lou, reflect on the amazing experiences that I’d had and make some decisions about where I’d like to be in the future.”

After taking part in the Clipper Race, crew members traditionally return looking for their next challenge and adventure whether it be in sailing or in business.

A new project at Race HQ is looking for former crew to join the Alumni Networking Group on LinkedIn to share and celebrate their post race experiences.

To find out more about the Alumni Networking Group and to share your post race experience, please contact Caroline Marrows, [email protected] +44 (0) 7500 002 510.

Visit the Clipper Race LinkedIn page here.

If you’re interested in signing up for the Clipper 2015-16 Race, click here to find out more about taking part.

Join The Race