Emma Dixey is a General Practitioner from Newport, Isle of Wight who recently completed her Level 3 training week. She’s been telling us about why she cannot wait to sail into Cape Town with Team Darren after the Southern Atlantic Ocean crossing.

Name: Emma Dixey
Occupation: General Practitioner
Nationality: British
Signed up for: Clipper 2015-16 Race, Leg 2

What was it that made you sign up for the Clipper Race?
My husband Simon was a circumnavigator on Invest Africa in the 2013-14 race and while he was away I had lots of opportunities to take on new challenges. During the New York stopover the Invest Africa Skipper Rich Gould invited me to go on the boat while they were taking photographs on the Hudson River. I suddenly found myself interested in how the boat worked and what a challenge it would be to be part of the crew. I couldn't stop thinking about it and decided I would always regret it if I didn't go for it.

Why did you decide to do the South Atlantic Challenge?
During Simon’s race, I flew out Cape Town for the start of the Southern Ocean crossing. I wimped out of watching the race start from a helicopter and was really frustrated with myself afterwards. So I decided I would like to sail into Cape Town to prove to myself that I can tackle things I am really scared of, and do that helicopter ride.

Tell us the highlights of your Clipper Race experience so far.
In terms of sailing, during Level 3, I was at the helm during a spinnaker hoist and couldn’t quite believe that I was doing it. I’ve felt my confidence grow on each training week and during Level 2, I sat on the pulpit to hank on the Yankee 2. I didn't think I ever would, and even thought I’ll admit it was pretty calm weather, I still did it and was dead chuffed about it.

A big thing for me was getting to sail on the same boat as the young people from the Sapinda Rainbow Foundation so I’m really happy to be with them on Team Darren. I met all of the ambassadors who took part in the last race and was so impressed with them collectively and individually. They are a fantastic group of young people.

The way our skipper Darren led us at Crew Allocation, it all felt very inclusive and has set a very positive tone for our team in the race. One of the ambassadors from the Sapinda Rainbow Foundation performed a song that he had written for us and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

During Level 3 I got to sail with two of the circumnavigators on our team, Sean Lee and John Rafferty, and we had so many laughs. I’m looking forward to getting to know skipper Darren and more of our crew on Level 4 next month.

What have you found most challenging?
Getting in and out of all that kit and moving around the boat. I think I won the ‘most bruises competition’ on Level 3 because the 70s are certainly a lot ‘tippier’ than the 68s. I’ve someone’s finger marks imprinted on my arm as they grabbed me while I slid across the deck – I definitely won the ‘most bruises on board’ competition.

What do your family and friends think about you doing the race?
I didn't tell Simon I had applied until after he got back to London. Once he had recovered from the shock he has been very supportive, even buying me bits of rope for Christmas to practice my knots. Our daughter is looking forward to more travel opportunities and Clipper Race parties and I think is a bit jealous! All my friends, whether met through the Clipper Race or others, have been very encouraging and interested in my progress. I think we might be planning a bit of a party in Cape Town!

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