Meet the Crew: Kiki Bakker

18 March 2016

A year ago, 21-year-old Dutch student Kiki Bakker was named as the winner of an international competition to win a berth on Leg 6.

Kiki was selected at random from hundreds of applications after she entered the contest when she was in London to watch the finale of the Clipper 2013-14 Race having sailed to England with her family.

Now, Kiki, from Amsterdam, is in Qingdao, China, ready to join her team GREAT Britain on the start line of Seattle's Pacific Challenge race to west coast USA.

Kiki, a fashion management student, tells us about how she hopes the Mighty Pacific race will be a great start for the beginning of her professional career.

Name: Kiki Bakker
Age: 21
Nationality: Dutch
Occupation: Fashion management student
Team: GREAT Britain

What has been your most memorable moment at sea so far?
There has been a lot of memorable moments. It might be the first time I sailed into London with my family when I was younger. It had something really magical and it was my first crossing at sea. It was so beautiful and satisfying after having felt very seasick for the first time and I imagine that I might have the same feeling when I finish the Clipper Race.

How has your training fostered a sense of team?
The training has given me the opportunity to bond with my team. This is the most incredible thing this race gave me so far. When the crew arrived into Qingdao, I had some sort of feeling that I came home. The Clipper Race allows you to interact with different people of all ages, cultures and countries.

What qualities do you bring to the team?
In terms of sailing I think the most important quality is my perseverance and competitiveness. In my team I would say that I have some sort of enthusiasm that makes people laugh, which is important when competing in such a big challenge.

What has been the toughest moment this far?
The toughest moment was during Level 3 training. We had got stuck on a lobster pot and couldn't get out. We weren't able to move for the entire night and the conditions were rough, a lot of people were seasick. We had a difficult time but finally became free. Being in these sorts of situations makes you realise how happy you are to be in such a great company and makes you appreciate each other and the things in normal life a lot more.

What are you hoping to get out of the race?
I think being a good team player is one of the most important skills for this race. I don’t believe you should ever change the person you are but if I could get out anything of this race, I would love to be a great team mate to each sailor in my team. This will absolutely broaden my horizons and I will get connected to people from different areas. I hope that participating in such a challenging experience like this will be very beneficial for my future.

Have you made any sacrifices to get this far?
It hasn’t really felt like I had to make any sacrifices for this race so far. That is mainly because I am so happy to be able to participate. Of course there are sacrifices that I will notice I am making during the race and that has to do with giving up your regular life and not having the day to day luxuries.

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

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