On Saturday 19th January, Dave and I headed off to London to meet Race Crew and their family and friends (Race Supporters) from around the world. We were all gathered for our first official Clipper 2019-20 Race event – Crew Brief – at Lord’s Nursery cricket ground. Whilst I was extremely pensive, as this gathering marked the official count down to the start of the race in 7 months’ time, Dave was very pleased to be at the home of cricket and was eager to see the iconic cricket commentator’s box. Sailing legends like Sir Robin inspire and fuel my dreams, but for Dave, it is legendary cricketers and commentators who he regards as his heroes and inspiration. Happy coincidence then that this event was at Lord’s. Little did Clipper Race Officials realise that they had helped me get Dave fully on board as a Race Supporter by hosting their first official Clipper 2019-20 Race event there!
Over 240 Race Crew and 150 Race Crew Supporters were in attendance, including plenty of lovely fellow crew who I’d already had the pleasure of getting to know during my Level 1 and Level 2 training on the Solent in 2018. We all came away feeling reassured and rejuvenated by the collective camaraderie, and certain feeling that our lives were about to change forever as a result of becoming Clipper Race Crew. There was palpable excitement that it was all becoming real: especially when those 240 Race Crew present, myself included, had to queue to get our photograph taken for the Clipper Race website and collect our first item of Race Crew clothing – a Musto softshell jacket with the 2019-20 edition of the race emblazoned on it. A reminder that this will not only be my first ever sailing race, but the race of my life!
A cheeky pic with Sir Robin and meeting up again with the Race Crew I have already trained with was the perfect end to a big, epic day in my life. The starting gun has been fired in many ways. Excitement and focus now reign!