Meet the Clipper 2017-18 Race Crew Supporters: Marie Greer
14 January 2018
Whilst some Clipper Race Crew Supporters are beginning to gather ahead of the fleet’s arrival in Airlie Beach, others, all around the globe, are glued to the Race Viewer, watching their loved ones race across waters half a world away.
Marie Greer is one who is supporting her husband, David Greer, a round the worlder on PSP Logistics, from home in the UK, and as a result, she has full blown Race Viewer addiction.
“There are days that I check more than hourly, even though I know that there won't be an update,” says Marie.
“The need to look at the Race Viewer is more intense at the start and the end of a race, but the desire to check hourly doesn't go away. So, it’s very difficult when the team goes into Stealth Mode, withdrawal symptoms set in! It’s amazing how much you learn about tactics from the Race Viewer.”
IMAGE: Marie and David Greer at Race Start in Liverpool.
David had always dreamed of sailing around the world, but Marie is the reason why he has spent the last five months racing some 20,000 nautical miles. And given what the pair have been through in the last few years, her willingness to support David live his dream is all the more extraordinary.
Marie explains: “David sustained a serious brain injury in June 2012 that was both life threatening and life changing. Initially he was left unable to walk but fortunately this only lasted for a short time. David spent four months in acute care and neuro rehabilitation and was a long way from recovered when he returned home. He then realised that due to the cognitive impacts of the injury that he would not be able to return to work as a CEO. This resulted in a period of severe depression as David felt he had lost all purpose in life and he lost all of his self-confidence (common post brain injury.) It was so severe that it required in-patient care. During this time David somehow found the strength to move forward by setting himself some personal challenges in order to give his life purpose again.
“So, in a moment of insanity, I said to him that my Christmas present to him in 2016 was to offer to hold the fort in 2017 whilst he found something to do that would challenge him and re-energise him.”
IMAGE: David and the PSP Logistics team arriving in Sydney.
On that suggestion, David found the Clipper Race and began preparing to take on his big new adventure. Marie admits that amid all the training and with all the build up to race start in Liverpool, it took some time for it to sink in that David would be gone for eleven months.
“It didn't seem real until the day that he sailed out of Liverpool,” she says.
“After Liverpool I suddenly realised that I was alone and it began to sink in as I made the long journey home to Norfolk on my own. I had no concept of just how much I would miss David and our daily lives together. I gave up work in April 2013 to help with David's recovery so we had pretty much spent every day together since then.
“David is not just my husband but my best friend and soul mate and we always say that life works because of Team Greer. Suddenly half the team was gone and my confidant along with it. There are times when I just want to talk to David. I will never take communication for granted again.”
Whilst she will continue to miss being a part of Team Greer for the next seven months, Marie does count herself lucky she is now part of Team Clipper Race Crew Supporters, led by Race Crew Supporters Coordinator Ruth Charles.
“I haven't yet missed an arrival or race start on Facebook Live and Ruth delivers a welcome hug for me to David which has become part of the ritual.
“We have a Team PSP Logistics supporters page on Facebook which is fabulous. Lots of information shared. There is a smaller group of PSP Logistics supporters connected on WhatsApp where the more personal conversations can take place.
“Through the WhatsApp group and the PSP Logistics page lots of people get photographs for me which means that I can share in the journey. I have also been lucky enough to find people to take cards to David in every port - very important to him.”
Despite the hardships, Marie has long thought of the Clipper Race as “an investment in happiness” for both herself and David. She will travel to Derry-Londonderry and to Liverpool later this year to cheer David on as he finishes the race of his life. And it’s clear she is counting down the days until they are both home again in Norfolk.
“It will be wonderful to hear David's stories of life on board the Clipper Race. It will be wonderful to share the dog walking on the beach as the sun rises. It will be wonderful to communicate at any time, with no need to wait for the data channel. It will be wonderful to get up together and just decide on how to spend the day, to take coffee and cake together, to make decisions on the house together
“My life will be complete again - my only fear is, once an intrepid sailor always an intrepid sailor ha ha - will my man want to settle? He does say that he is most looking forward to getting to know me again, how weird does that sound?”
Not weird at all.
If you too are supporting a loved one on the Clipper 2017-18 Race and would like to join the Race Crew Supporters family, then contact Ruth on Rcharles@clipper-ventures.comJoin The Race