Meet the Clipper 2017-18 Race Crew: Graham Hill
03 October 2017
Name: Graham Hill
Home Town: St Brelade, Channel Islands
Legs: Full Circumnavigation
IMAGE: Graham Hill at the helm of HotelPlanner.com.
The Clipper Race crew have just one full day left in Punta del Este before the race resumes and the fleet departs for Cape Town, South Africa. And Graham Hill, a 58-year-old Pilot from St Brelade in Jersey, will be sad to say goodbye.
“This is my first time in South America and I have to say Punta del Este is somewhere that I will come back to,” says Graham.
“When we arrived, it was pouring with rain and we had been up for around 24 hours. We were really excited to arrive, but we were all a little bit tired.
“But as soon as we got onshore, we were revitalised. It was straight into hospitality at the Punta del Este Yacht Club, and the whole stopover has totally exceeded my expectations.”
Graham is a circumnavigator on HotelPlanner.com and, after spending five weeks racing around 6,400 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean from Liverpool, UK, to Uruguay, he has really appreciated the time to regroup, refresh, and repair in Punta del Este.
“The hospitality has been fantastic but we’ve also had to do quite a bit of work to the boat,” he says.
“Having a slightly longer stopover than normal has been good because we have been able to work and play in equal time.
“The boat was in pretty good shape when we came in, especially the sails, so we haven’t had to do too much on those but there is always maintenance to do.
“But we’ve been able to really plan our maintenance and cleaning so we can do a day of maintenance and then have a day off. I’ve done a tourism trip, we’ve been to a winery, quite a lot of the guys have been cycling, we’ve done car trips, there’s been pop-up restaurants, the locals have asked to come and visit, there have been sundowners, so we have been very welcome. And the traditional asados (South American barbecue) have been absolutely magnificent.”
IMAGE: One of the asados put on for the Clipper Race crew in Punta del Este.
HotelPlanner.com is currently sitting on six points and is in seventh place in the overall standings going into Race 2, The Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms. And Graham says the team is planning to make an impact in the race to Cape Town.
“HotelPlanner.com is in really good shape.”
“We’ve got consistency of crew, we’ve only lost four from the Atlantic Trade Winds Leg 1 and gained two for the race to South Africa. So, we have got a core of people who have all done the first leg and we’ve all settled into routine, we understand the boat more, we understand our evolutions.
IMAGE: Members of the HotelPlanner.com team in Uruguay.
Graham adds: “We felt our decision making in the opening leg was quite good but we feel we can really improve in Race 2. We are looking to get at least two places better if we can.
“We really feel confident that we will perform much better and, as a crew, we are just having fun. We are the HotelPlanner.com family. We all feel as a crew that we are a family together, so we are really looking forward to it.”
Feel inspired? Applications are now open for the Clipper 2019-20 Race, so if you think you have what it takes to race across the world’s oceans and have the adventure of a lifetime, visit the Clipper Race website to apply now.
You can also follow the progress of HotelPlanner.com and the rest of the Clipper Race fleet throughout the 3,560nM race through the long, rolling swells of the Southern Atlantic to Cape Town on the Race Viewer.Join The Race