​One Year On: Circumnavigators Reflect on Epic Adventure

20 August 2018

One year ago today, the World Heritage Royal Albert Dock Liverpool was a hive of activity as hundreds of Clipper Race crew members were waved off by friends, family, and the public as they embarked on an adventure of a lifetime.

Much can happen in a year and it certainly has been a memorable one for the 73 Clipper 2017-18 Race circumnavigators, who are now adjusting back to life on land after spending the year racing over 40,000 nautical miles around the globe, crossing six oceans and as many continents along the way.

However, as many crew members will tell you, whilst the racing is fiercely competitive, it makes up only part of the bigger adventure.

For Gerry Injoque, 44-year-old CEO from Lima, who made history as the first Peruvian to circumnavigate in the Clipper Race as part of the Garmin team, the Clipper 2017-18 Race was lifechanging. Reflecting, he says: “Sailing around the world has been the hardest challenge of my life. The race put me out of my comfort zone in so many ways and because of that I grew as a person. Now that I plan my future I feel that anything is possible.”

Image: Gerry represents the Clipper Race during a Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race press conference.

Jenny Hall, a 38-year-old Customer Experience Director from London who was part of the Dare To Lead team comments: “This year will certainly have changed the course of my life to come and I know I can look back when I'm 90 years old, and be chuffed with what I've achieved.”

Image: Jenny hard at work on the bow of Dare To Lead

Neil Stafford, a 35-year-old Finance Manager from Cheshire, raced round the world on board the bright pink Liverpool 2018 yacht, shares how his Clipper Race changed both him as a person and his life in general, adding: “Since leaving Liverpool a year ago, I feel I’m far more driven as a person, confident in my own abilities and far more sociable.

“I have learnt that I can live with 20 people in close quarters! I can calm and lead a team in high-pressured situations. I will take away lifelong friends and a new determination to succeed and go beyond what I previously thought was possible.”

Image: Neil on the bow of Liverpool 2018

GREAT Britain round the worlder Tessa Hicks, a Doctor from Wiltshire, sums up her experience as: "For me the race was about adventure, travel, learning new skills, a new activity that I had no previous experience of, challenging myself, teamwork, but above all - people.

"I have met some amazing people, not just on the GREAT Britain yacht but from all the other yachts, the Clipper Race staff, and the local people in the various destinations who were so interested, kind, generous, welcoming and friendly. Most of all it confirmed what I already knew, that what matters in life is people, relationships, experiences, and memories."

IMAGE: Tessa with her GREAT Britain teammates.

Join us in re-living the Clipper 2017-18 Race start through by browsing the race start image gallery and videos.

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