Earlier this week, the UK’s final race training course of the year was completed in Gosport, Hampshire. On board was Edwin van Emmerik from the Netherlands, one of 470 crew members from all over the world who are currently signed up to compete in the next edition of the race.
We caught up with Edwin to find out how he is getting on as he prepares for his challenge of a lifetime.
Name: Edwin van
Lives: Anna Paulowna, North Holland
Occupation: Chief Engineer
Signed up for: Clipper 2015-16 Race, Legs 2, 3 and 4
What led you to sign
up for the Clipper Race?
Since I was a little boy I followed every big ocean race, and when the Clipper Race was launched I followed it. My wife isn’t generally keen when I follow a race because there is a lot of noise from the computer monitor when she is trying to watch TV, but when the race first visited Den Helder,I took the family to see the fleet. When my wife saw the boats arrive she told me that I should do it. I said OK!
I have always sailed small boats but the race is much different.
Why did you choose
Legs 2, 3 and 4?
I am a sailor and I have always been in the Tropics and I really want to race, and you don’t do that in the Tropics. I wanted to test myself and go down south to take on the Southern Ocean so these legs are prefect for me.
How have you found
your Clipper Race experience so far?
Level 3 is the best course I have experienced so far. Level 1 and 2 are about learning how to sail the boats and on your Level 3 you are sailing the boat, and a Clipper 70! The Clipper 70 is fast, with full sails up, it gets you more into racing mode and that’s what I liked the most.
What has been the
highlight so far?
For me it’s the kites. We had a lot of wind so putting the kites up and down was a great experience. I have never flown a kite whilst sailing before, this was the first time and it was wonderful.
We've had a great skipper and mate and my fellow crew members were a great team, we learnt a lot and it has been a fantastic experience.
What have you found
the most challenging so far?
In the back of your mind you know you can do it, but then actually going to do it can be daunting. Steering in the night in a lot of wind is also a challenge!
What advice would you
give to someone waiting to do their Level 3 training?
Prepare yourself to get into real racing mode. You have to go that extra step to make the boat go faster. It’s not a cruise, if you want to go faster you have to give it your all. Your Level 3 is so much more like the real thing.
If you are having any doubts about whether the race is really for you, after your Level 3 you will definitely know if you want it or not and I definitely do!
What do your family and
friends think about you taking part in the race?
My family are excited about it and are following it closely. My wife forwarded an email onto me from the race the other day as I was on the water and she titled the email – ‘it’s getting real now.’
If you are interested in joining Edwin in the next edition of the race that starts next summer, or a future race, contact us here.Join The Race