On 4 July 2022 at 0949 UTC, CV27 Dare To Lead crossed longitude 54 58.277W. Our track on the navigation software records that we were travelling at 16.8 knots at the time. This happens to be the most westerly point reached when Dare To Lead arrived in Punta del Este at the end of Leg 1 of the Clipper 19-20 Round the World Race and, although we have not yet reached the point of departure on 1September 2019, four of the crew on board, Bettina, Kevin, Jim and Dave (whose birthday is also on 4 July!) technically completed their west to east circumnavigation in that moment. A tangible atmosphere of achievement and a modest but significant celebration was shared enthusiastically at happy hour!
This has not been an easy journey by any measure, compounded hugely by a microscopic virus which has changed the world greatly. I, for one, have a deep respect for the spirit, determination and resilience of all those who have stuck with their dream to complete all, or a part of this most extraordinary of all extraordinary experiences. For most of those involved in this edition of the race, that dream has been more than five years in the making.