​#ReasonToRace: Nassor El Mahruki

24 December 2018

AGE: 51


HOMETOWN: Zanzibar


LEGS: Full Circumnavigation

Nassor El Mahruki, a 50-year-old hotelier from Zanzibar, is set to become the first Tanzanian to circumnavigate the world with the Clipper Race when he sets sail as part of the 2019-20 edition of the race.

As he prepares to ring in what will be an exciting new year, we caught up with Nassor who shared his #ReasonToRace with us.

It was a chance conversation that led Nassor to signing up for the one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet – a 40,000 nautical mile, eleven-month circumnavigation of the globe. He explains: “I was having beer with friend of mine from Durban and we were talking about the Volvo Ocean Race and sailing in general. I said I wish I could do some long-distance racing and he mentioned the Clipper Race.”

The chance to see the world and also indulge his love of sailing and adventure made the Clipper Race a perfect fit for Nassor. He says: “I wanted to do something different to going on a long holiday and drink.

“I have my own Wharram Catamaran 30 Tiki and I sail between Zanzibar Island and Pemba Island at least once a month because I have another lodge on the latter . I have also sailed from Zanzibar to Madagascar with friends on a monohull boat and in 2016 I sailed from Durban to Dar es Salaam.

“But I have never experienced anything like the Clipper Race.”

Although Nassor is yet to cross oceans, he is no stranger to adventure. He explains: “Last year I did a Camino de Santiago walk from the South of France to Northern Spain (about 800KM in five weeks). I have climbed the highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro, twice, and I have done overland truck driving in Namibia, South Africa and Muscut, Oman.”

Nassor has completed three out of his four levels of training so far, and says: “Training has been great. Initially I was nervous as I did not know exactly what to expect, but once I started, especially after Level 1, a lot of things became clear to me. I feel so much more confident now compared to how I felt at the start of training.”

And as he prepares to start what will be one of the biggest years of his life, Nassor only has one resolution:

“Go and get it done! Sailing is my life!”

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