Today, Race 1 crew members hand over the baton to Race 2 crew joining their teams to take part in the South Atlantic Challenge to Cape Town, South Africa.

Joining his team today in Rio is Canadian crew member Clement Lee, who first heard about the race whilst working in New Zealand at a winery. With a love of being out on the water, Clement says the opportunity jumped out at him and after attending a race talk in Auckland, he signed up.

We catch up with him to see how he feels as he counts down to his race adventure next week.

Name: Clement Lee
Age: 37
Nationality: Canadian
Occupation: Management Consultant
Team: ClipperTelemed+
Signed up for: Leg 2 and 8

What made you decide to sign up to the Clipper Race?
I signed up for the Clipper Race since I wanted to learn something new and wanted to be on the water. In the previous 15 years, I had been heavily involved in different types of canoe racing which involved many hours on the water training for major events. During the many training hours, I realised that I would feel exhilarated from being on the water. The practices on the water would either wake me up in the morning or pick me up after a long day at work.

The opportunity to sail would allow me to get back on the water and hopefully feel that same way again. Previous to the Clipper Race training, I had only been sailing twice before learning the basics in small lakes with friends.

Why did you choose Leg 2?
For a couple of years, I've been intrigued by going to explore Africa as I have never stepped foot on the continent. A friend had nearly convinced me to leave my job and join her for an adventure around all of Africa and the world. Since I missed out on that opportunity, I put in my plan for this year to go to Africa to explore. When I found out that the Clipper Race had a race stopover in Africa, I thought, "What better way than to arrive in Africa than on a yacht?" So here I am on Leg 2 on my way to Africa for my next adventure.

Have you ever done anything like this before?
I do not think there is anything else that can compare to this experience. If we mean adventure, I am always game for it. I have gone exploring to different parts of the world on my own due to my sense of adventure. However, I believe this will be a very different experience as I will be sharing it with about 20 other crew members.

What has been the most challenging part of your race experience so far?

I think the most challenging part so far was the first week of training. There was a lot to learn for someone who had very limited sailing experience before. I thought that reading through the manuals would help me through the sailing and evolutions. It was not until halfway through the training that something clicked and I started getting it. There were also different ways of doing certain things and there were different messages from different people. In the end, it was taking all the information and figuring out what was right. It was tough to keep running into different problems throughout the evolutions, but it was very gratifying when we solved the problems.

What has been the highlight of your race experience so far?
The highlight of my race experience has been the training in Australia. Witnessing the wildlife in the open ocean is an amazing experience and it seemed like each time I took the helm at sunset or sunrise, the dolphins would come out to play. There was one of the instances where we could see the pod of dolphins approaching us from our port side before turning and swimming alongside. At another point in the training, we passed by a large whale. The whale was coming up for air in the distance off our port bow and then we slowly passed it as it came up once again just off our port. In the end, it seemed to wave at us and decided to breach as we passed and it was now at our stern.

What do your family and friends think about you doing the race?I do not think that my friends and family are surprised that I am doing the race as they have seen me travel to several places around the world on my own. They know that I have a sense of adventure and that I am willing to try new things. They always like trying to find out where I am at any given moment.

What are you most looking forward to when you arrive in Rio to join your race?I am looking forward to disconnecting with the world and the stresses involved in it. Despite the hard work on board, it is nice to focus on something other than the burdens of everyday work life.

What do you think will be the most challenging?
I think the most challenging thing for me will be to follow the ebbs and flows of race positioning. Coming from sports that have events lasting a couple of hours or minutes, the result is known in such a short time span. In open ocean racing, the positions change drastically throughout each day. It has caused me great anxiety in following the day-to-day standings of ClipperTelemed+ through Leg 1!

What do you hope to achieve?
I hope that as a team, and a member of a team, we work and grow together to surpass all our individual aspirations. I would love to be amongst the fastest yachts racing into the finish in Cape Town.

I am very competitive and I hope that I can help all my teammates realise their potential while they, in turn, push me to my limits. I hope that as a team, we'll be amongst the leaders of the race in Leg 2.

Race 2: The Stormhoek Race to Cape of Storms from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to V&A Waterfront Marina, Cape Town, starts on Wednesday 7 October.

If you would like to join Clement to race the world’s oceans in the next edition of the race, please get in touch via the apply section of the website.

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