Future Crew Catch Up – Meet Nicola Edwards

06 February 2015

In November 2013, the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race visited Albany, Western Australia for the first ever time, during Leg 3 from Cape Town, South Africa. As a member of the local yacht club, Nicola Edwards volunteered to meet the fleet as it arrived into Albany Waterfront Marina.

After feeling the immense excitement, camaraderie and sense of achievement from the crew, Nicola signed up for the race immediately and recently completed her first level of training at our Sydney training centre.

Name: Nicola Edwards
Age: 39
Nationality: Australian
Occupation: Graphic Designer
Signed up for: Clipper 2015-16 Race, Legs 1, 2, 7 and 8

What led you to sign up for the Clipper Race?
I saw this as an opportunity of a lifetime. It was a huge decision to take a year out of my life, possibly sell my house and sail round the world for a year. It was not a decision I took lightly and in the end, the decision came down to one question... “Will you regret not doing it?” My answer was a resounding YES! And from that, I signed up!

I previously thought such an epic adventure was something I would never have the opportunity to do, so doing just one or two legs is just not an option for me. I want to do the whole thing, I want to be able to say “I have sailed round the world!” I want to accomplish something remarkable, overcome adversity and be part of a bigger picture.

What has been the highlight of your Clipper Race experience so far?
My first overnight sail, when our shift started at 10:00pm. I stepped out of the cabin and was just in awe. It was a beautiful clear night - the stars were so bright and there was a quarter moon shining on the water. It was so mesmerizing watching the moonlit water rolls and fold, it was just stunning. After a day of being sea sick, it made everything alright.

My second highlight was helming through the Sydney Heads, through Sydney Harbour amongst hundreds of yachts and motor boats past the Opera House and under the Harbour Bridge. To be able to sail through such an iconic harbour was an experience I will hold on to forever and to sail amongst so many other boats was exhilarating something I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to do.

What advice would you give to someone preparing for their Level 1 training?
Eight months after I signed up for the race, I flew to Sydney to do my first level of training. To finally step on board a Clipper Race yacht, immerse myself in all things Clipper Race and meet people with the same dream, was huge for me.

There was a lot to learn and at times it was overwhelming, not to mention exhausting. For me it was a week of firsts. My first overnight sail. My first offshore sail. My first time seasick. First roster system - being woken from a deep sleep will take a lot of getting used to! My best advice to someone preparing for Level 1 would be to be open minded with everything you do, learn your knots and don’t bother about Pyjama’s - sleeping in clothes is much easier! Also a good thing to remember: everyone on board with you is there for their own journey, so be tolerant and patient, especially when you are feeling exhausted - this is their dream too.

What do your family and friends think about you doing the race?
My family and friends have mixed reactions to my adventure. There are people I talk to who find it inspiring that I am following my heart to accomplish a dream. One person even said to me “I would love to be able to do something like that, do it for people like me who are not in the position to be able to give a year of their life to follow their dream.” Most people share the excitement and say, “good on you, but would not do it in a million years!” And then there are some that just don’t understand why I want to do it!

All are 100 per cent behind me but some of them wish I was just doing one or two legs, I think they will be the ones on solid ground, worrying about me while I am out on the water living my dream. I understand to a certain extent where they are coming from but it will not change my mind at all. This is my dream, my journey and there is no other option for me than to live it and love it!

The Clipper 2015-16 Race starts on Sunday August 30, 2015 and will be the tenth edition series.

If you would like to join Nicola, get in touch as crew places are now more than 80 per cent full with only 18 round the world places available. Leg 1: Trade Winds to Brazil is 100 per cent full, Leg 7 is 98 per cent full, and Leg 8 is now 96 per cent full. We are also now recruiting for the 2017-18 edition of the race.

To find out more, click here

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