After clocking up over 9,000 thousand miles the final and toughest chapter of the Henri Lloyd GORE-TEX® Experience Tour Clipper Race challenge got underway Sunday.
Earlier this year the GORE- TEX® Experience Tour in conjunction with Henri Lloyd ran a competition to find three outdoor enthusiasts eager to participate in one of the world’s toughest endurance challenges - the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
Grace Freret, 31, a nurse from Liverpool took on the penultimate Leg 4, which was made up of three races including one of the sailing world’s most treacherous and prestigious regattas - the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. After a turbulent time at sea aboard PSP Logistics, Grace shared her highs and lows of her once in life time experience.
“My Henri Lloyd GORE-TEX® Experience Tour Clipper Race challenge has been absolutely amazing. It has been one of the most exciting and exhilarating experiences of my life. Having the opportunity to take part in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race was a huge privilege. It’s such a high profile race in the world of sailing. The race start was phenomenal and to take part as a team facing all the challenges we had, well, we came out of it stronger and more determined to do our best, no matter what.”
After an emotional goodbye to her team, Grace passed the baton onto fellow competition winner Romanda Simpson who will compete in Leg 5 - the Asia Pacific Challenge. Romanda, 32, a Volunteer Manager originally from Canada who now lives in London will face what is described as ‘one of the most testing races of the entire race,’ the 7,000 mile Leg 5 on board the Chinese sponsored entry, Qingdao.
Ahead of her adventure Romanda shared what she’s most looking forward to and what she believes her biggest challenge will be:
“Just listening to the crew brief I got really pumped up for Race 8. The pirates, the cyclones – it seems like this race could have everything. For me the biggest challenge will be not having any fresh fruit or vegetables – 50 foot waves, no problem but the prospect of no vegetables I think I’ll find really tough.”
Romanda will race the 4,500 miles to Singapore where the fleet will be moored at the spectacular One ̊15 Marina. After a brief stop the fleet will race the 2,450 to Qingdao, China where a spectacular welcome awaits the teams. This will be the fourth time the Clipper Race has visited the city - which was home to the sailing events of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.