Joining Crew Arrive in New York, Meet Prashant De

22 June 2018

As 91 joining Clipper Race crew members arrive into New York, USA, to join their teams for Leg 8: The Atlantic Homecoming Leg, the final Leg of the eleven month circumnavigation, we caught up with Prashant De who is racing on board Garmin for what will be a special race as it starts, finishes and visits the three places he has called home.

Name: Prashant De
Nationality: British, living in Manhattan, New York.
Occupation: Management Consultant
Leg: 8
Team: Garmin

A chance encounter with the Clipper Race fleet three years ago lead Prashant De to take on an ocean crossing and now he is preparing to race across the Atlantic Ocean, a home to home voyage for the British New Yorker. He explains: “I was always into sailing but I never thought I would race. I was in London to renew my US visa in the August of 2015 when the office there had delayed it. So, I was in the UK for a bit longer than expected and whilst running around, I came across the Clipper Race fleet in St Katharine Dock.

“I was one of the first people in line for a tour of the Clipper 70s and I spoke to a crew member on the gate, she was 18 years old when she did the circumnavigation, I got on the boat and she was telling me all about the Clipper Race and I thought I really want to do this.”

A three-year plan in the making, Prashant originally wanted to do Leg 3, to cross the Southern Ocean, but shifted to the Atlantic in order to sail from one home to the next. Born in Ireland, Prashant lived in London but now calls New York home, and Leg 8 will see him visit all three homes as he races nearly 4,000 nautical miles from New York, USA, to Liverpool, UK, via Derry-Londonderry.

With experience of sailing on the Hudson River and cruising coastally, Prashant has gained a racing edge from the Clipper Race training and is able to achieve his ambition of crossing an ocean: “When I started I had done coastal sailing and cruising, after doing training the thing it really helped with was racing.

“We have a boat here in New York, she is a classic and has done the New York to Bermuda multiple times and we have started racing her. The Clipper Race training has really upped my ability to race and handle a boat, so a lot more racing and serious sailing but still hasn’t been ocean sailing so that is what I am really looking forward to now.”

Prashant is one of 91 crew members joining the Clipper Race for Leg 8 and he is excited to be getting on board Garmin and joining his crew mates for what is set to be a thrilling final leg to the 2017-18 edition: “I am really looking forward to getting back with the crew as they are a lot of fun. Getting back to working on the boat, lifting sails, putting them and really try to get those quarter knots or whatever it takes to win, hoping for a podium.”

Whilst the fleet has been docked in North Cove, Manhattan, and Liberty Landing Marina, New Jersey, he made the most of showing friends and family around what is going to be his home for the next month, to help them understand the challenge he is embarking on: “Well my family think I am a little bit crazy but that has not been a difference in opinion but they are quite excited about it they don’t quite understand what it takes to do it.

“The friends who have actually got on board, I took them to North Cove Marina, they couldn’t believe the boat was so small and fit 20 people on board at one time. So, I had to explain how that happens, that’s been the main questions have been how everybody eats, sleeps, the day to day of life on board. I don’t think anybody can really imagine what it is like out there until they are out there.”

The fleet will slip lines from Liberty Landing Marina on course for Derry-Londonderry this Monday, 25 June. Slipping lines will begin at 0900, followed by a parade of sail with the iconic Manhattan Skyline and Statue of Liberty as a backdrop before the final Leg starts.

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Until Race Start : The Southern Ocean Leg