Offshore Yachting : Offshore Yachting Jun-Jul 2015
Can you tell us what’s new for the 2015-16 edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race? The first thing that’s new is that we have our first female Australian skipper, Wendy Tuck, and we also have two female skippers in this race. The other skipper is from Canada, her name is Diane Reid. For the route, we will have some different ports but then also some of the same ports that want us to come back in again. Probably the biggest change for Clipper this year is the diversity of the skippers. We’ve got our first French skipper and our first Ukrainian/ German skipper, and the diversity of the skippers reflects in the diversity of the crew – we have crew from 40 nationalities taking part in the race and some crew from countries that have never sailed in a Clipper before. Also new is that we’re offering a level four training course here in Sydney. It’s on the 68s for our late- comer crew because at this point in the game it’s quite hard for crew to fit all their training in with work and family commitments before their race starts. How many Australians and New Zealanders are currently in training for this edition and what stage are they at? We currently have 60 Australian crew in training and five or six New Zealanders – and people are still signing up. They’re all at different stages, but the majority of our crew have finished their training. We have six more courses left and they’re all full, which is fantastic. For the first time this year we’re also offering a refresher course both here and in the UK – one in October and one in February. So for crew who have done all their training there’s quite a gap. Say if you’re doing leg seven or leg eight you might not be getting on the boat until May or June, so we’re offering some training in February to capture those crew before they start the North Pacific leg. The reason we set up in Australia was so that Australian and New Zealand crew could do most of their training here and to give people an opportunity to taste Clipper without having to fly to the UK. What has surprised us is the amount of international crew that have come here to do their training. We’ve had crew from Canada, the USA, Scotland, India, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and South Africa. We have brilliant sailing conditions in Australia and they’ve come to experience that even though it would be closer for them to go to the UK. In summer we had those terrific thunderstorms, and we always had courses out in those, which is good practice for when you’re going through squall conditions. It’s all part of the training. If you do it in training then when it happens in the race, and it will, you’re not worried, you’re not scared, you know how to recover from it and you snap to. Our Sydney training program also incorporates the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s racing calendar. So wherever possible we try to put our training courses in a local race. There are several levels of training. How long does it take to complete levels one, two and three? Level one is seven days, level two is seven days and level three is five days. You can also do them back- to-back with a day off between each course. That gives you time to do your washing and have a rest and a stretch. What we do recommend though is that crew come and do level one as a single module and get the feel of the Clipper race, the boats, what fitness they need or what they need to work on. Forty percent of our crew have never sailed before when they start our program so for some people learning all the terms and processes is quite a lot to take in. If they have a break between level one and level two they can get an opportunity to review that information, consolidate it and then come back for level two. How do crew decide whether to do the whole circumnavigation, or just a leg or multiples legs? Every leg is different and offers different challenges so we do provide advice. And I do that often from the interview stage, I start talking about what their objectives are and then we see how they go in their training. Ultimately it’s their decision as to which leg or legs they’ll do. Twenty percent of the crew are ‘round-the- worlders’ and the rest are ‘leggers’ so they come on and off and do one or more legs of the race. Some do one leg because that’s all they can fit in with family, work and financially. I’ve had quite a few people add legs over the time, so it really depends on peoples’ sailing objectives and the time frames. You’ve competed in the race yourself. For you, what was the most challenging part of the race? I think the hardest part of the race but also the most rewarding was leg tack & Gybe 048 Kwilson aLL HaNDS ON Deck On board Derry- Londonderry-Doire at the spinnaker start.
Offshore Yachting Apr May 2015
Offshore Yachting Aug-Sep 2015