Future crew catch up – meet Cathy Lorho

02 January 2015

In today’s edition of Future Crew Friday, we catch up with Cathy Lorho from Sydney, Australia who saw an advert for the race at Sydney train station and is swapping her day job to race halfway around the world.

The race’s non-UK race training facility opened in Sydney in January 2014, allowing future crew from the Asia Pacific region to complete Levels 1 to 3 of the four compulsory courses closer to home.

Name: Cathy Lorho
Marketing Manager
Signed up for:
Clipper 2015-16 Race, Legs 1 to 4

What led you to sign up for the Clipper Race?
I have had “crossing oceans” in my mind for a while, especially the Atlantic, perhaps because I spent my youth sailing on it.

I grew up near the beach in Brittany which is the Celtic part of France and birth state of many famous sailors. I started sailing with my family around Brittany, then with my friends at the local sailing club starting from Optimist to Hobby Cats and windsurfing.

I also don't want to postpone this experience for too long. You never know what can happen in your life and I learnt that early, having survived a rare and aggressive cancer in my early thirties.

Why did you choose the first four legs of the race?
I wanted to experience what many future Australians had experienced when they left England forever and sailed to Australia. I also always wanted to cross the Atlantic and take part in the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race.

What have you found the most challenging so far?
It was quite hard to understand all the sailing technical words in English at the beginning! I had to print a dictionary online from an Englishman who travelled to France and learnt it by heart. I was also bit lost at the beginning when someone was using Australian slang.

I have sailed before but these boats are much bigger and powerful, they require lots of teamwork and coordination.

What has been the highlight of your Clipper Race experience so far?
It’s been a great experience, lots to learn in terms of sailing techniques, boat behaviour during big weather, working within a team. We've had big winds and waves for Level 2 and 3 which gave me a taste of what is coming next year.

On board, I have started to change the menus and improve the food to a more acceptable quality for a French person! I believe it is an important part of keeping the morale high during rough ocean times.

What do your family and friends think about you taking part in the race?
My kids are quite proud of me. We all have the travel bug in the family so it's just another way of travelling for them. I am not sure they realise the challenge it is.

My friends think I am a bit crazy and wonder why I am not continuing cruising with friends on a catamaran with my own cabin and private bathroom, espresso coffee in the morning and gourmet meals! I think they will get a bit worried during the race but they saw me surviving much worse. And then when I return we can have a big party at home in Sydney!

Want to join Cathy? The Clipper 2015-16 Race is now 80 per cent full but there are still places left on most legs. We’re also recruiting for the 2017-18 edition of the race.

Click here to apply and find out more.

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