Future Crew Catch Up – meet Terri Baker

31 October 2014

As the first two levels of the four part training course the crews must complete comes to an end at our UK HQ until the New Year, those taking part in the penultimate Level 3 training continue to be put through their paces on the waters of the South Coast until December.

We caught up with Terri Baker on return from her Level 3, that sees the crew train on board our fleet of 70-foot ocean racing yachts for the first time.

Name: Terri Baker
Age: 51
Lives in: Tring, Hertfordshire, UK
Occupation: HR Manager
Signed up for: 2015-16, Leg 1

What led you to sign up to the race?
I signed up for the race for the personal challenge, I wanted to do something for me and have always wanted to sail - so I thought what better way to do it than in race conditions around the world and its oceans. I hope to use my sailing experience subsequently after the race is over too.

Why did you choose Leg 1?
I chose Leg 1 for the excitement of being one of the first crew members to start the race at the beginning, having seen the fleet leave in spectacular style in London in the last race I am looking forward to starting the race series and the achievement of crossing an ocean.

How have you found your Clipper Race experience so far?
I was one of the first crew members to apply for the race nearly three years ago now so it has been quite a long time of preparation for me. I started my training last September and I was a complete novice - I had never sailed before so for me it’s a life experience and I am looking forward to getting on board.

How have you found your Clipper Race training?
Level 1 was tough because you have to acclimatise to the boat and in my case, learn everything from scratch. Level 2 was learning about the environment you are in and putting your learning into practice but Level 3 is putting you under race conditions. During my Level 3 we had the spinnaker up most of the time with lots of tacking and gybing and beginning to work as a crew under pressure which is really exciting, especially testing out the boat we will be sailing on the race. It is also more technically challenging so you do have to work as a team.

What has been the highlight so far?
The skippers have been brilliant and meeting people from across the world that are just as excited about the race has been a real highlight. I like living on board and the challenges, I relish it. Because I will probably always be a generalist rather than a specialist I have enjoyed all the elements I have experienced so far. The bit that I was most fearful of was helming and although I wouldn't say I have mastered it yet, it’s something I really enjoy when I do it.

What will you take away with you to prepare for your final training course?
I’ll take away the experience of sailing really fast under the kite, the excitement of working with the crew really fast under pressure and working well as a team.

I had great fun and know that now, the next time I am on the boat I will be with the skipper and team mates that are on my team and possibly on my leg of the race too!

What do your friends and family think about you taking part in the race?
My friends and family know how clumsy I am so are a little daunted about my ability to stay on board, but I think I've proved so far that I'm OK. I have gotten them quite involved and my teenage sons have been watching the race too and coming to some of the events so they feel like part of the Clipper Race family and I hope that perhaps when they are older, I have sown the seed of thought that if I can do it they might be able to do the same and push their boundaries in the future.

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