Clipper Race red jackets were out in force all over the UK and as far as France this past weekend, being spotted in Kent, the Welsh Brecon Beacons, the New Forest, London, the Peak District, Dorset, Derry-Londonderry and Brittany; as crew members got together with their skippers for the all-important team building sessions.

In some cases, crew from around the world who were unable to join in person managed to skype and facetime in from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Colombia...and Gosport where some were in the midst of training.

Never the shy, stay at home types, Clipper Race team activities included; raft building, canoe cricket, canoe building, canoe polo, pond-dipping, rifle shooting, high ropes, archery, O2 Dome climbing (and clipping on), sightseeing at the top of the Shard, Cutty Sark appreciating, face-painting, karaoke, champagne quaffing, tea drinking, roast dinner eating, guinness sampling, rolling teammates without using hands (?!), human knot tying (and untying), cooking classes, scavenger hunting, camping, rambling, a 'nautically themed cryptic mind bending head in hands Sherlock Holmes style treasure orienteering quiz'...and a dress rehearsal of the King Neptune ceremony in a Welsh village pub!

Travelling by ferry, train, car, bicycle, and plane, 23 of Team Olivier’s crew caught up in Brittany for a BBQ under a warm, sunny, blue sky before a two hour walk in the lovely Couesnon Valley. Further BBQs were enjoyed with an enviable feast of melon and smoked ham, spider crabs, sausage, pork, chicken and of course not complete without a big cheese plate. If they were not full then, breakfast brought croissants and pains au chocolat which fuelled important crew decisions.

Qingdao set off on a scavenger hunt in central London and celebrated with karaoke in Chinatown, which left one unnamed crew member stating: "I'm glad it's a sailing race, not a singing competition."

Commenting on his team's time in Kent, Skipper Huw Fernie summarised: “When you say team building to a sailor it generally means floating around for a day or two, hoisting some sails and racing through the Solent whilst trying to get your crew to work a little better with each other and realise the value each individual could bring to the party. So to organise a team building weekend with no Solent, sails, yacht and barely a drop of water seemed like a bit of a challenge.

“We managed to find a farm, harass some chickens and generally mess around and get to know each other. With a few more activities and a revealing session on our personality types, Sunday came around fast and it was soon time to head out into the countryside and then home.

“It was nice to see a group of people gel so well; I'm looking forward to the race even more. We are a strong and supportive unit and if we have a similar atmosphere during the race it will be a great year.”

Team Darren’s weekend started 306 metres up London’s Shard Tower, providing a bird’s eye view of Race Start’s St Katharine Docks and Tower Bridge. Their Team Coordinator Louise Thomas said: “What a great team building day with Team Darren crew. It started with a very quick lift ride up to the 72nd level of the Shard, to take in the views of London. A good place to work out if any of the crew had any issues with heights and I'm pleased to say everyone passed the test. So they'll all be going up the mast on Team Darren's boat."

Louise went on to add: “The weekend was finished off with a lovely Thai meal and yes you've guessed it, a few more beverages. I left with a smile on my face, realising what a lovely bunch of people I am going to get to spend the next year with. Go Team Darren!”

Continuing the team celebrations, Clipper Telemed’s Canadian crew are planning their team building on Toronto Island next weekend.

Click here to read skipper and crew member blogs about what they all got up to over the weekend: (Unicef and ClipperTelemed+ blogs yet to come).

Click here to view a highlight gallery of images.

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