Meet the Crew: Ina Baum

11 September 2019

Meet the Clipper 2019-20 Race Crew

Name: Ina Baum

Age: 53

Occupation: Business Consultant

Hometown: Koln

Leg: Circumnavigation

Team: Zhuhai

It’s been over six months since we first met Ina Baum, an inspirational business consultant who signed up for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race circumnavigation just ten days after hearing about the adventure. Ina is now racing alongside her Zhuhai teammates competing in the first leg of the race, putting all of her training and preparation into practice. We caught up with her to find out more about her rollercoaster ride from business consultant to ocean racer...

Ina, from Köln, Germany, has sailed recreationally in the past but after embarking on her fours levels of compulsory Clipper Race training, she soon realised that this challenge would be a complete contrast to her previous trips.

As someone who, once they put their mind to a task, would usually excel, Ina found her training to be somewhat overwhelming initially. A whole new sailing vocabulary to learn, teamed with learning and remembering brand new sailing skills, it nearly became too much for Ina but her breakthrough came during her Level 3 training when the team came together to really work in sync. Then, when she saw the boats lined up for a practice race during her Level 4 training, it all seemed to fit into place. Tears of frustration turned into tears of happiness as she described that, for the first time, she could really imagine what the race will be like, she commented: “There was a beautiful moment on my Level 4 Training where I thought, I think I might actually really be able to do this!”

For Ina, and many other crew members, the Clipper Race is as much a mental challenge as it is physical. Mental preparation is vitally important for all crew preparing for the adventure and for Ina, who has taken on the Team Coordinator role, it is something she has put a great deal of time into. She says: “In my work life I’m used to intimate and deep human interaction and people have a tendency to come to me with their problems. It is an important role for me, it gives me a lot of identification”

As an empathetic person, Ina is naturally suited to the Team Coordinator role within her team which she has taken on. To prepare herself, she has seen a psychologist to help her handle difficult situations as well as the task of taking on others' issues: “With 20 people being so close to one another on the boat, I can read people in a room and I easily identify stress but how will I be able to protect myself and not constantly worrying about what everyone else is doing? So, we have been working on that - how in a confined space, I can arrange to meditate and look after myself too.”

To make her feel at home whilst at sea, some of the very few luxuries Ina has on board include Jasmine tea, headphones to create a bubble for herself and laminated photos and messages from friends: “My daughter prepared a booklet called pocket love - a postcard sized picture from each of my friends with a personal message on the back". She commented how emotional it has been with her friends, as she noted: “What I find interesting is that it takes something like someone going away for a year and worry for them to be so open in their emotions about the relationship or friendship”.

Ina will also be trying to get in some yoga and mindfulness practice whilst at sea and physically she says she “will not be shying away from any jobs.”

As part of the Zhuhai team, Ina will be helping to fly the flag for the Chinese destination as she crosses the oceans along with Zhuhai’s selected ambassador crew members. As many Race Crew, Ina is both nervous and excited, in particular, to be crossing both the Southern and Pacific Oceans but hopes to have a “good amount of experience” by then.

Ina tells us she is most looking forward to visiting Cape Town following Leg 2 where no doubt she will be checking into accomodation with a comfy bed and the home comfort she will miss the most - a bath.

To follow Ina’s journey with the Zhuhai team, track their progress via the Race Viewer and keep up to date with team news via the website.

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