Allocating the Crew
01 April 2015
Close to 650 crew members will take part in the upcoming edition of the Clipper Race. A hugely diverse group, crew members will boast a variety of skills learnt during pre-race training, as well as from their wide-ranging careers and backgrounds.
As all twelve Clipper 70 ocean racing yachts are a matched design it is vitally important to allocate crew members as evenly as possible to their teams in order to ensure a close and competitive race for all.
As we draw nearer to the highly anticipated Crew Allocation event taking place later this month, where crew members will learn the identity of their Race Skipper and fellow crew mates, Deputy Race Director, Mark Light and Crew Manager, Carol Blyth are working together on the important job of allocating crew members amongst the twelve teams.
“It's a long and rather complicated process,” explains Carol, who joined the race crew team in 2001 and has worked on seven of the nine previous Clipper Race editions.
“Each crew member is graded throughout the four levels of training by their Training Skipper. These grades and extensive feedback are taken into account alongside any previous sailing experience, as well as skills each crew member might have from their careers and professional lives.
“For example, a doctor or engineer will have skills which will be very useful on board a yacht and we attempt to spread these skills evenly amongst the fleet,” continues Carol.
“The Crew Allocation day is a huge milestone for everyone involved in the Race. Crews discover who they'll be sharing the next twelve months with and it gives Skippers and crews the chance to set down their goals and targets for the challenge ahead,” says Mark, who skippered Derry-Londonderry during the Clipper 2011-12 Race
“After announcing the names of their crew, there's a great opportunity for the individual teams to get to know each other a little better and start to build on team rapport. This is the day when the Clipper Race starts to take on reality and race campaigns can get underway. It is a hugely exciting day for all concerned.”
The most eagerly awaited race date before Race Start day, Crew Allocation takes place on April 25 at Portsmouth Guildhall and more than 400 international crew members, friends and family have already registered their attendance.