Moussa Tawil will be our first ever Lebanese round the world crew member by the time he completes his circumnavigation on board Team Max. Currently based in Doha, Moussa has left his job to join the race crew and we caught up with him after his Level 3 training to find out how he’s been getting on.
Name: Moussa Tawil
Occupation: Sales Manager
Signed up for: Clipper 2015-16 Race Round the World Circumnavigator
How did you hear about the Clipper Race?
I saw an interview with Sir Robin on CNN and I had already decided in the last two to three years that I was going to do something remarkable with my life. When the race came up I had already started doing some dinghy and small boat sailing, I visited the race website and signed up.
Why did you choose to complete the full circumnavigation?
I thought doing one or two legs would be ok but then I thought, I’m getting older, I may as well do the whole thing while I am physically and mentally capable! Modern sailboat sailing is not that common in Lebanon, we do not have as big a sailing culture as some other countries have.
When the race finishes my intention is to move back to Beirut to plan what to do next with my life. I think there is a good opportunity to continue sailing in Beirut and do something there. We have an amazing coastline.
How have you found the training so far?
I had only sailed dinghies before so at first I found the experience quite difficult because it was my first time on a big sailing boat. I was surprised how physically demanding it was. Also mentally, you have to prepare for things that you are not used to in everyday life, especially bouncing up and down on big waves whilst sleeping!
Level 2 was tough because seasickness kicked in big time. But then, Level 3 was surprisingly easy. I found that I started moving with more trust on the Clipper 70 because of their more open deck.
What have you learnt along the way?
Come to think of it now, it's quite surprising how much I’ve learned in terminology, boat handling and evolutions, despite the fact I do zero sailing when I'm not in Gosport. The skippers have provided great coaching and repetitions.
Did you find any differences sailing the Clipper 70 compared to the 68?
The 70 looks more modern inside and out. I like how the deck has a more open design which made it easier to move around on and a bit less complicated to sail. The interior is totally different and takes getting used to.
How are things going in Team Max?
Things are going really good. I feel we are getting well prepared and I have a lot of appreciation for all the team members. Unfortunately I missed out on the team building weekend because I was doing my Level 3 training but they all had a blast.
What has been the highlight so far?
Just the experience you get to go through with your crew mates and all the funny stuff that happens that might not have been funny at the time. Deep cleaning the boats is a particular highlight. No, I’m only joking! The most important highlight is meeting likeminded people and coming off the boat with new friends and knowledge each time.
What are you plans between now and Race?
I should be leaving Doha by end of July, join L4 on August 3rd, back to Beirut on 10th, join again for boat delivery and stay on board until Race Start and beyond. I will also be shuttling every weekend to Dubai to spend time with family.
What do your family and friends think about you taking part in the race?
Those that are not going to be affected by me going away are very happy for me and very supportive! My folks back home still cannot grasp the concept of the race. It is not only going to be a first for my region but for Lebanon as a country. Very few Arabs have done this before and no Lebanese has been around the world.
If you would like to join Moussa and race the world’s oceans this year, please get in touch via the apply section of the website. We are now also recruiting for the Clipper 2017-18 Race.Join The Race