Future Crew Catch Up – Meet Daniel Mokran

07 January 2015

This week we catch up with 2015-16 race crew member, Daniel Mokran, a Telecom Engineer who moved to Seattle, USA six years ago and has been sailing for the past two years.

Daniel first heard about the race from a friend who took part in the 2013-14 edition. After following the race online, Daniel signed up and has now completed his first two levels of training.

Training in the UK is closed until February, but the season remains in full swing in the sunny summer shores of Sydney, at our Australian Training Centre which has now been running for a year.

Crew members must complete four levels of compulsory training on our fleet of boats before taking part in the race.

Here, Daniel tells us about his race preparations.

Name: Daniel Mokran
Telecom Engineer
Signed up for:
Clipper 2015-16 Race, Leg 1

What led you to sign up for the Clipper Race?
A few years back when I first got into sailboat racing I became really serious about it, it was a crazy learning curve, and the more I learned and the more I had done, I only wanted it more and more. In my mind that meant I wanted to do more races, bigger, longer, offshore, on bigger, higher performance boats. Unfortunately, there's no easy way for a non-professional sailor to get there.

There aren’t many options even for paying crew to do that kind of racing, especially in the US, and on a global scale the Clipper Race is the only opportunity that I feel is taking me in the direction I want to go.

Why did you choose Leg 1?
Initially I wasn't planning to do Leg 1. I had planned to do the full circumnavigation. Being Croatian and living and working in the US, things came up that made me reconsider and adapt my plans. I'm still trying to work some kinks out to maybe be able to do another leg. As to why Leg 1, well, it's one of the longest ones and it not only includes an ocean crossing, but the Equator too.

What have you found the most challenging so far?
On the second evening of my Level 1 training in the UK I had carelessly taken off too many layers while putting the boat away in the marina. It was a very cold and windy evening in March. Needless to say, in the coming days I not only had to work through all the physical strains of sail changes and evolutions, but also a raging fever. Being jet lagged didn’t help either!

What has been the highlight of your Clipper Race experience so far?
I know most people would answer this with things like: driving a 70 foot boat, driving it in lots of wind, mastering certain evolutions and such. For me all that applies as well, but I have some (smaller) and more personal achievements that I find more rewarding like overcoming seasickness, finding comfort in pilot berths, and being able to sleep in 25 to 30 knots, and 8 to 12 foot waves sailing close hauled.

What do your family and friends think about you doing the race?
I have received divided opinions. Some are genuinely excited and happy for me and some think that it's too dangerous. Some think I'm crazy for even considering it, but all agree that it's one of those once in a lifetime life-changing opportunities.

Want to join Daniel? 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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