Future crew catch up – Meet Nick and Bob Warren

17 October 2014

What were we saying last week about the race being one big family? With Level 3 training kickstarting last week, we met up with father and son duo Nick and Bob to see how they got on during the penultimate level of training that introduces crew to the Clipper 70 for the first time.

Before crew compete they must complete four levels of training - either on the Solent, UK or at our Australian training and events centre in Sydney, Australia.

Level 3 sees the crew train on board our fleet of 70-foot ocean racing yachts for the first time to test out these vessels that will become their home for up to 11 months.

Name: Nick Warren
Age: 35
Lives in: Mattapoisett, Massachusetts USA
Occupation: Business owner
Signed up for: 2015-16, Leg 7

Name: Bob Warren
Age: 61
Lives in: Mattapoisett, Massachusetts USA
Occupation: Retired
Signed up for: 2015-16, Leg 7

What led you to sign up for the race?
Nick: I heard about the race watching footage from the 2011-12 edition on a sailing website. I saw that a new fleet was being launched and continued to follow it from there.

Bob: Nick introduced me to the race. When I saw the video and the new fleet I knew I wanted to do it straight away. I have been sailing all my life, mostly dinghy sailing but I now own a 38-foot sailboat. We have done some offshore racing but nothing like this.

Why did you choose Leg 7?

Nick and Bob: I was enticed by the opportunity to sail in the Pacific, Atlantic and the Caribbean towards home and have always wanted to transit through the Panama Canal.

How have you found your Clipper Race experience so far?

Nick: I have gotten a lot out of the training, especially safety and preparation-wise. There are lots of things you don’t think about unless you are doing a big ocean crossing like this

Bob: It has been fantastic, even if we didn’t end up doing the actual race the training alone has been amazing. We will take the things we have learnt on race training to apply on our boat and it will make everything so much easier.

How have you found your Level 3 training testing out a Clipper 70 for the first time?

Nick: Getting to train on the Clipper 70 has been great fun. The reason I signed up was to sail on a fast racing boat.

Bob: The Clipper 70 brings a lot more speed and the asymmetric spinnakers are fantastic.

What has been the highlight so far?

Nick: I had some decent spells on the helm and helmed through a couple of squalls which was pretty cool.

Bob: The boat was so good in the weather sailing in 35-40 know winds. It was so slick it was as if we weren’t even sailing in those kind of conditions!

What has been the most challenging part of your experience so far?
Nick: For me it is remembering all the small details. That’s why it’s nice that after practicing evolutions and other manoeuvres you have a debrief to talk about what was done right and wrong to learn from.

Bob: We did our Level 2 last week and two weeks back to back at sea has been challenging physically. It was tough but enjoyable. I am sore but I’m ready to go another two weeks after this! You build up your endurance day after day. As long as you look after yourself you’ll do alright.

What will you take away with you to prepare for your final training course?

Nick: Preparation. You realise the importance of that when it comes to setting the boat up to racing to safety. You need to be ready, that’s a big part of the whole experience. I am really interested in the weather and navigation element to the race so will familiarise myself with that a bit more as it has such a big influence of the race.

Bob: I said after my Level 1 that I would start to work out a little more but I never did! I definitely will now to prepare for the physical endurance. I will study my Crew Manual more to get the process of manoeuvres down. Now I have been on the Clipper 70 I know what to consider for the boat. The theory is the same as the Clipper 68 - only a few small pieces are different on board.

As father and son, what do your friends and family think about you both taking part in the race?

Nick: I think they are a little jealous and our wives are a little annoyed, but generally I think everyone thinks it’s pretty cool. We sail together now anyway but it will be a cool experience to do this together.

Bob: Nick is here to take care of me to make sure I come back, and I’m here to make sure he comes back! We want to be on the same boat but even if we do end up on different teams that brings a bit of a challenge as to who is going to beat who. We weren’t sure if we wanted to sail together initially but we enjoy sailing with one another so much it would be great to be on the same team.

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