Meet the Crew: Memnia Theodorou

31 October 2015

Memnia Theodorou is the first Cypriot to do the race. She was only due to compete in the Atlantic Trade Winds Race to Brazil, but once she got to Rio she signed up for the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms and upon arrival in Cape Town signed up for the third race, the Wardan Whip to Albany, Australia, having become addicted to crewing in the race.

From her research, she says she is also the first Cypriot woman to have sailed across the Atlantic Ocean.

Here Memnia explains why she is embracing the race experience so much.

Name: Memnia Theodorou
Age: 32
Occupation: Dentist
Nationality: Cypriot/British
Team: GREAT Britain

I thought the circle would be complete if I completed Leg 3 as well
After completing the Atlantic Trade Winds Race, I signed up for Leg 2. The second leg was a lot more challenging. It was tough weather, big winds and big seas. We all found it quite hard. When I finished Leg 2 I thought the circle would be complete if I did the Southern Ocean leg as well, as it would be a sequence of increasing difficulty in terms of the sailing conditions.

I compare now what I’ve seen already, and will have seen a lot of Mother Nature’s different conditions by the time I complete Leg 3. And I can also say I have sailed half way round the world to Australia.

It’s now or never - I’m so free
I really love my team and the people I had on my watch and that has been a key reason for me staying on. The skipper is brilliant too. I recently got British citizenship as well, so representing Great Britain is a really big thing for me.

It’s now or never. I’m really free as I left my job and flat in London. It was time for me to leave my job and I thought I’d take a month or two off, so I’m in no rush to go back. I have never felt so free in my whole life. It’s very liberating. It is an amazing feeling.

I am very proud to represent Cyprus
I am the only Cypriot woman who has crossed the Atlantic Ocean on a racing boat. I did some research and could only find one Cypriot man who had crossed the Atlantic on a racing boat before. It makes me immensely proud. To carry on racing to Australia makes me feel great.

I want to give a message to people in my country that you can do things. Everything is possible if you want it enough. People have a more laid back attitude in Cypriot life. I want them to see if you put it in your head you can do it.

My friends and family knew I was quite crazy already
My mum worries quite a lot, but my family can see how much I enjoy this, and try to encourage me. My friends and family know I’m quite crazy anyway. They see that now I have stepped up to a whole different level.

It was a surprise to me to see how I could live with other people
I have lived by myself in London for eight years and never shared with others so it has been surprising to me that I have adapted so well to life on board. I have accepted it for what it is. Eventually when you go back to normal life you will have flushing toilets and your own bed then.

Overcoming things at sea has bonded us as a crew
As one of the medical crew, I've had to deal with some of the injuries we've had on board. It's not nice to see your team mates hurting and wanting to help them. I am a dentist so have medical knowledge but as I'm not a doctor it can be frustrating, wanting to help and not being fully able to. But we have managed to overcome the situations and that has bonded us at sea. It’s a great feeling to have been able to help someone.

Seeing whales breaching was a beautiful moment
Seeing a few whales breaching when we were close to Cape Town was totally unexpected. They came really close to us. I felt like I was a National Geographic photographer - it was beautiful. And during Leg 1 we had some incredible sunsets when you were helming after a tough day.

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