International crew prepare for the race of their lives

14 August 2015

With just 15 days to go until the start of the Clipper 2015-16 Race Start in St Katharine Docks London, international crew members and skippers have been busy at our HQ in Gosport preparing for the race of their lives.

Training sessions have included sail repair, engineering, victualing and media, and have been led by various experts including former crew members and some of the race's official suppliers.

Official Safety Partner Ocean Safety has tutored the crew in maintaining and using the safety equipment on board while Marlow Ropes, the races Official Running Rigging Cordage Partner has been teaching about the variety of rope on board, rigging and wear and tear and Official Sails Partner, Hyde Sails have been holding sail repair master classes.

Martin Newman, Production Manager of Hyde Sails says: “It’s been great to meet the team’s Sail Repair volunteers and run through what to expect, potential wear signs, damage and how to fix it and what could happen and has happened in the past. We have also discussed how to manage work at sea and stopovers and taken part in some manual sail making, learning about the sewing machines to use on the sails.

“It’s hugely important to look after the sails and for the sail repair team to be aware of what to look out for and encourage the rest of the crew to look out for the sails too, as well as being able to repair the sails on board or in port. The sails are the yachts engine whilst it’s racing around the world so they have to be cared for.”

On board, crew members can burn up to 5,000 calories a day and the team’s victuallers have been busy planning and packing their meals on board for the four week journey to London and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the first race of the series across the North Atlantic.

Derry~Londonderry~Doire crew member Steve Waters, a consultant from Cheshire says: “We’ve been compartmentalising our food into bags and boxes so we’ll pick each day off the menu, this is so that if we have bad weather we can change the menu easily without having to have food all over the place from different bags, and keep the heavy food stored low and the lighter food stored higher on the yacht.

“We have some dietary requirements on board so we have catered for everyone in our planning. The best meal we have on board is chorizo and chickpea with olives and sundried tomatoes which will be lovely. We have a lot of food such as 42 cans of 2.5kg tinned tomatoes, and 200 wraps. We also have three buckets of treats to keep moral going.”

Crew have also been busy preparing their yachts for their eleven month long adventure. Working on board Da Nang – Viet Nam, round the world crew member Katarina Svedjefalt, a Financier from Stokholm, Sweden says: “It feels exciting to be here, I’m looking forward to the start of the race, we are getting the yacht ready for racing, organising it and planning how to pack everything ready for the race with easy access. Everyone is really happy and we have the same aim and goal for doing the race so we have all come together and we are ready to go for it!”

The Clipper 70 fleet will leave our Gosport base on the south coast of the UK on Tuesday 18 August to sail to London. On board for the delivery are Clipper 2015-16 Race crew members and ambassadors from IchorCoal team partner the Sapinda Rainbow Project, as well as alumni who include crew members from the first ever Clipper Race.

The race fleet arrives in London on Thursday 20 August and the Race Village at St Katharine Docks opens to the public on Saturday 22 August.

The fleet will depart for its epic adventure on Sunday 30 August and will race 5,868 miles across the Atlantic to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in its opening leg.

Want to race the world’s oceans? Click here to discover more.

View the pre-race prep week Facebook gallery here.

For more information about the London Race Village and Race Start Schedule, click here.

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