When I was young, I lived in the Cattistock Valley. At the head of the valley sits the Cattistock Hunt Kennels. Whilst fox hunting is a cruel and outdated practice, the people of the surrounding valleys still meet to eat and chat and then chase a man on a quadbike trailing behind him a scent covered sock.

Sometimes, you can hear the hounds howling together, especially when the weather is bad. Its nights like the one we've just had that make me feel like a dog in that kennel, as the watch changes in the rainy, windy blackness I hear “WHO LET THE DOGS OUT” bellowed from the companionway.

The shared purpose that lives in my team is amazing, and I feel like this race is more about internal discovery than it is about the scenery or adventure. I've heard the Clipper Race likened to an 'adventure experience' such as climbing to Kilimanjaro base camp with a guide. But this is a misunderstanding of the thing that makes it special. The scenery is monotonous (the sea being pretty sparse and desert-like) and the goals far more long-term and abstract (good sail changes and consistent helming). I get the sense that the special thing for the members of my team is that they become part of a 20 strong non-professional sports team, taking on a daunting challenge. It is being a small cog in a large tough machine. I've never been prouder to be one of the cogs. Special shout out to Dan, our Team Coordinator who embodies that spirit.

A howl from Joss, Ini, and the Seadogs