Meet the Crew: Cheryl Campbell

16 March 2016

Today, crew members taking part in the race across the mighty Pacific to Seattle, USA will join their teams to prepare for one of the toughest races of the series.

Working as a physiotherapist, treating war wounded and amputees in the Gaza Strip, crew member Cheryl Campbell is no stranger to challenging conditions.

Living within strict confines in Gaza for security reasons, a friend wrote to Cheryl to tell her about an advert they had seen for the Clipper Race at the train station that they thought would be of interest. Cheryl says she leapt at the idea of being on a boat on the ocean, so close to Mother Nature and for such a long stretch of time.

Name: Cheryl Campbell
Age: 39
Profession: (ICRC) Red Cross Physiotherapist
Nationality: New Zealand
Team: Da Nang – Viet Nam
Signed up for: Leg 6

Signing up for Leg 6 was reasoned by that whilst I might feasibly one day sail across the Atlantic Ocean as a crew member on a yacht, I might never be game enough to cross the Pacific that way. It's such an enormous, illimitable body of water with such massive mountains and deep trenches. It is where the planet's weather systems are made and it is has the most diverse marine life of any of the world's oceans. I want to travel upon it as close as I can get to it, crossing from one side to the other.

I think being cold and wet will be the hardest thing to cope with but I'm most looking forward to applying all the knowledge I have gained over the training courses, and getting more proficient at the ins and outs of yacht racing.

I want to manage to be a quality team member, even when cold and homesick and sleep-deprived and maybe even seasick. I want to try to be more tolerant and mindful and present in the moment, something like the Buddhist monks whom I once worked with in India are. They displayed - even in adversity - the most forgiving, peaceful and temperate nature of any peoples I have ever met. I'd love to be more like that. In reality I'm quite savage when hungry, and get really frustrated in windy weather!

My friends and family think all sorts of things about me doing the race. They generally think it sounds like a capital adventure. My neighbour pleaded with me to try to do everything I could to get out of it. He said ‘just abandon the whole thing’. He thinks it is the most absurdly bad idea - and he works on a deep sea oil rig. Some of my patients ask me what is wrong with me that I would want to do such a thing. My Mum (my most fervent fan) is living this adventure vicariously through me and will come to see my boat sail into Seattle. Dad supports me fully as he always does, and my little boy wants the boat with the dragon on it to win (and my boat to come second!).

If you would like to join Cheryl and race the world’s oceans, we are now recruiting for the 2017-18 and 2019-20 races. To apply click here.

Apply now