​Behind the Scenes: Clipper 2019-20 Race Training

27 December 2018

As 2018 draws to a close and focus shifts towards the next edition of the Clipper Race, we caught up with the training team which has spent the winter preparing for a busy season ahead.

The team has been busy working towards its schedule which is already filling up fast for the months ahead. Clipper Race Training Office Manager Kirsty Squires says: “Training for the 2019-20 edition began in March and so far, across three of the four training levels, 409 soon-to-be Clipper Race Crew have Level 1, 302 have completed Level 2 and 67 have completed Level 3.”

The past month has been a busy time for training bookings for 2019. Kirsty adds: “We are booking crew in for courses on a daily basis for Level 1 through to Level 3 so we would advise that crew get booked in as early as possible to secure their preference in training dates.”

Looking ahead, 2019 is set to be another exciting year for the team, with Kirsty explaining: “We have been finalising the Level 4 course, looking at potential refresher dates for post-race start, adding new dates to the current schedule, and ensuring that every course is staffed correctly.”

And as the year progresses, Level 4 training dates will be announced and bookings will be confirmed following Crew Allocation on Saturday 11 May 2019. It’s at this event where some 700 crew members will find out who their Clipper Race Skipper and teammates will be for the race and the team are looking forward to this getting underway.

On her role in the Training team, Kirsty says: “It’s always great to meet new people from all over the world, and hear how and why they signed up for the Clipper Race.

“It’s so enjoyable to meet someone who is extremely nervous on the first day, and watch them come in on the last with a great big smile and tonnes of confidence. It’s also magical how a group of strangers can turn into a little family by the end of the week.”

In the meantime, however, in between helping to raise over £400 for Unicef with a particularly festive Chrismtas Grotto effort, Kirsty, Ben, Maddie and Mik have some top tips for homework over the festive period. Kirsty explains: “All crew should read the crew manual before coming for training, i.e. Level 1 section before coming for Level 1 training.

“We recommend that crew keep practicing knots, work on their general fitness and upper body strength and go over the Joining Instructions sent by the Training Team.”

Image: An aerial view of Gosport Marina with the Volvo Ocean Race fleet, Clipper Race Fleet and Suhaili berthed alongside.

And when crew next come down for training, the office will have a new-look wall to explore. Whilst crew will be pleased to hear that Kirsty’s ambitious plan to integrate a 4D-on-arrival-salt-water-soaking-experience was turned down, they will be reassured to hear that an interactive training wall will be waiting to greet them instead.

Looking to embark on the race of your life? Training places are still available for 2019, no experience necessary. Hit the button below to find out more.