Meet the Clipper Race Crew: Nnenna Samuila

04 July 2019

Name: Nnenna Samuila
Occupation: Entrepreneur
Nationality: Nigerian
Legs: 3, Southern Ocean Leg, and 8, The Atlantic Homecoming Leg
Team: GoToBermuda

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston first set out to create the Clipper Race to give everyone, regardless of background or previous sailing ability, the opportunity to experience the challenge and sheer exhilaration of ocean racing.

Nnenna Samuila, an Entrepreneur from Lagos, Nigeria, is one of the many Clipper Race crew members who have no previous sailing experience before signing up. Nnenna wanted to challenge herself to do something different, exciting and out of the ordinary and, when she joins her team in Cape Town for Leg 3, will be the first person from Nigeria to compete in the Clipper Race.

For Nnenna, the Clipper Race is about proving to herself that she can overcome any challenge and hopes to inspire others with her experience. She said: “I can’t say that I intend to become a skipper, but it is just about proving to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to. For me, and my background, I hope that young girls in Africa and other women can see me and be inspired by me.

“They might not necessarily choose sailing, but the message I want to share is that there's nothing you can’t do when you put your mind to it. That’s the point, I come from a society where women are not really empowered to do something out of the ordinary.”

The Southern Ocean Leg certainly isn’t ordinary, Nnenna will be racing from Cape Town to Fremantle before returning to join her team for the final Homecoming Leg. Once complete, she will have crossed both the Southern and Atlantic Oceans. On her decision she said: “It’s about pushing myself, I have never done anything like this in my life.

“It’s going to be awesome I have never been in that kind of space or terrain. I have seen from the training it's really about pushing yourself beyond what you think you are capable of.”

Training has been tough for Nnenna, despite struggling with seasickness she persevered and thanks her crew mates and Training Skippers for the support. After completing Level 2 she said: “Training has been really good but tough. We were in watches for the first time, this is when it hit me that this is really serious. When you are on watch you are in control and responsible for the yacht whilst the rest of the team slept.”

Whilst challenging, the rewards were high: “It was my first experience of being aboard when the yacht was heeling over, it was such a rush.” Adding: “The comradery is amazing, everyone has come from different backgrounds but when you get on board it doesn’t matter, it’s just your crew, your family. Everybody works together with a common goal.”

Upon finding out that she will be racing with Capetonian Skipper David Immelman, she said: “When I found out who my Skipper and teammates were, I had this feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you go on rollercoaster. You feel terrified and excited at the same time. Now it is real.”

Inspired by Nnenna’s story? Ready to achieve something remarkable? You, too, could be racing across the world’s oceans in the toughest endurance test on the planet. All training provided, no previous sailing experience necessary. Hit the button below to find out more.

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Until Race Start : The South Atlantic Challenge Leg