Liberty is being free from the things we don't like in order to be slaves of the things we do like.--Ernest Benn

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Clipper Around the World Race Is For You!

For me? Not so much....
Sunday, 31st of July, 10 identical 68ft yachts will depart at 16:30 BST from Southampton (UK) on the first of twelve legs on a 40,000-mile race around the world. I think this race calls itself as the longest race in the world, and is supposed to take up about a year to complete. That's including the lay-over at the end of each leg. The first leg sails from Europe to Brazil.
Each yacht is sponsored by a city, region or country. So far the entries in this year's race includes represents De Lage Landen, Singapore, Finland, Qingdao and Derry-Londonderry. Each has a skipper supplied by the Race organizers. A good portion of the crews on each boat are sailing novices, come from all walks of life and undergo a four-stage training programme to prepare and qualify them for the gruelling journey. Organizers say:
Housewives, taxi drivers, chief executives, lawyers, doctors, carpenters, truck drivers, IT specialists, marketing executives and even members of the clergy have all taken up the Clipper challenge – to race around the world under sail. It is a feat that fewer people have completed than have climbed Mount Everest.
Those among my more adventuresome readers who think they have what it takes to take on the world one leg at a time, should apply. A completed application will get you to an interview; if you pass the interview process, an invitation follows for you to participate in the first of four pre-training classes to qualify for rail meat or better on a Clipper.

As I say, it's not for me. But if anywone was a younger -- say by 10 years -- Laser sailor, I'd say he would be physically fit to qualify! Mentally fit? I don't know.

For myself, I no longer deem myself to be an able-bodied seaman. I can't physically do even the shortest leg of this race; but virtually? Virtually I am in and I am in to win!

Update (3-August) Click to expand:

Not as advertised, this first leg ends, apparently, on Portugal's island of Madeira. In this satellite 'photo' you can see Brest (Fr) on the upper right, and the north western tip of Spain on the lower right. My Open Container III's position is identified in 396th place (I'm very pleased!) in the tail end of the (avec options) A-Fleet. Contiguous is depicted also, ahem, not so favorably but temporarily in 2307th place in the back of A-Fleet. Paula, OTOH, in No Going Back, is displayed in 622nd place over all. However, at the front of B-Fleet (sans options), she has sailed into the ranks of A-Fleet.

Update (3-August): That's the coast of Portugal off to the right. (Click to expand!)
I've felt compelled to track an additional boat. Bailiff gave us all a four-hour head start, but has come on like gangbusters! Contiguous has also recovered from her earlier grounding!


  1. Virtually - It sounds like a challenge. You're on and good luck old man.

  2. I'm there too!

    Guys, AO or SO this time?

    Fair winds to all!

    No going back

    PS Still can't post through my 'Google Account' profile but able to post 'Anonymous'

  3. I can't race for a year with out options, especially programming.

  4. That's definitely the way I see it, C.! Paula has a cute thing on her boat which invites any of her many admirers to 'gift' her some options. Ordinarily, I want to step up and be first in line to present her 'options'! But my Doberwoman cost me a whole load of $$,$$$ repairing her knees injured in the surf. But, C., I know you're a gentleman as well as an accomplished Corinthian yachtsman: there's nothing this holding you back from helping Paula out, is there? But, just between you and me, wait a few days on this leg before you do so, will you? I need a head start!

  5. Paula, I can't, for the life of me, figure out why you can't post in these pages. Please send me an email, and I'll take extreme measures!

  6. good luck, out of interest where is the virtual's first stop the game shows Madeira but the real race is brazil

  7. I got another late start? Another!!!???

  8. At least you didn't run aground on the first day. On the first Leg

  9. Yea, Yea. I was so worried about hitting the Eddystone Light off the coast of Plymouth that I ran aground at Start Point, near Salcombe and East Prawl. (Where do they get these names?)

    So much for dialing in a programmed course change and going to sleep. I woke up several hours later to check my La Solitaire de Figaro boat and whamo- the great big Clipper STOP sign sat there glaring at me. Took me 20 min to get off the damn beach. All gravel too!

    Lost 2400 places. Ouch!!! But I'm coming back, one wind change at a time.

    As for donating some Options I'm still paying for the termite work, refinishing the floors in three rooms and new insulation in the attic, a vacation in Asheville NC etc. I think I must be some sort of stimulus plan.

    Speaking of stimulus plans, dept ceilings etc - here is my two cents: Standing on principle is admirable. Blocking the will of the majority is to condemn democracy.

    Enuffff already.

  10. Look at Paula go! #458 and sans options!

  11. Paula said...

    I seem to be losing places, just a couple at every refresh. I checked the SO index but they have me listed at GAINING places!! So, it appears that boats Avec Options are gaining on me and I am gaining on other SO boats!! I'm on Page 2 this morning in 53rd position SO.

    Sorry to hear about your grounding C.,if it weren't for that maybe you would be out there with OC III and his group. I think you are doing slightly better than Doc this morning!(Though the boat beside you C. NO PRO EL RSA is going in a different direction and travelling 2 knots faster and SO!!)

    Still no luck posting with my Google Account profile. Selecting that link just deletes my carefully typed comment and takes me to the Blogger Homepage which invites me to create an account.

    No more time to chit chat this morning as I need to catch up on some zeds :)

    No going back

    Sail on!

  12. Thanks for the link, Paula! I have displayed our current positions!

  13. Paula says...

    It is now morning WX (wind change)and it looks like being another quiet day at the helms of our Clippers. No major changes, just a couple of tweaks later in the day. We all seem to be stuck in our same positions and will stay there unless we do something really stupid. Why couldn't this have happened last Sunday evening when I missed the first WX and lost over 1,000 places in a few hours?!?!?!?

    Have a great weekend everyone! Our weatherman has forecast 'an organised band of torrential rain crossing our small country for Saturday and Sunday'. What I want to know is who is the person that 'organised this band'???

    No going back

  14. Thanks again for this great link, Paula! I agree positions are stabilized: I have lost one boat in the last five hours.

    On the other point of de-stabilization: all I need to know is if your organized band of torrential rain has trumped the playing of scheduled football games?

  15. Paula said...

    I must be doing something stupid :-(

    No going back

  16. Doc - I'm very impressed. You're hanging with the big dogs! Way to go!

  17. That's faint praise from Contigue, Doc. All he is saying is that you have learned to stay off the rocks!

  18. and that's only because there are no rocks out here 250 plus miles off the coast of Portugal.

  19. It's high praise from Contiguous. Anytime I can beat 'The C' to the bar? I'm okay with that. Assuming we're not talking sand bars. This leg was just a sleigh ride with no passing lanes. I was expecting to go to Brazil. What's up with Madiera?

  20. I thought we were going to Brazil too. Didn't realize until a couple of days after our start tat we have a part a and part b on this trip. Must be so we can pick up some Madeira wine!

    Need to give the real Clipper racers a chance to catch their breath and see if any folks want to jump ship before taking on the long leg.

    It certainly looks like you will be at the bar a long time before I get there. But if you want to go straight to Brazil - go right ahead. I'll tell MP you went ahead.

  21. My interim goal is to see if I can catch No going back. Not looking very promising right now - but she may go out and party tonight and sleep through the wind changes. There is always hope. Or maybe she will run aground on Porto Santo Island guarding the left side of the approach to Madeira.

    That's why I pray to the wind gods.

  22. 264 ! Is'nt that one of your best scores ?
    I might be joining you for leg 2 (not 1.b.) but I'm following you all !
    Good winds.

  23. 264 Doc. I'm impressed and jealous! Way to go.

    Bell - we missed you. Hope you can find the time to launch your boat!

  24. Paula said...

    Congratulations Doc, super finish and well deserved !! Not hanging around for sundowners with your buddies or zig zagging across the oceans really paid off. I guess you are presently hanging out in the winners circle in the Club Bar. We look forward to seeing you on the pontoon later - a couple of bottles of champagne should do very nicely, thanks!

    I hoped I would easily cross the finish before Contiguous but I see that he is speeding like a missile towards Funchal at 10 kts, so I still have a bit of tacking to do and (hopefully) finish in front. It's so hard to make up losing over 1,000 places with one tiny mistake at wind change. Hard luck there.

    You watching the football Doc? Plenty of wet weather about but not enough to stop the 'beautiful game'. Are you able to get TV coverage your side of the pond? God knows, it never seems to be off our screens. Every Championship Final seems to be immediately replaced with another league ~ as you may have guessed, I am not a football fan!

    Belladonna.... we miss you! hope to see you around for the next leg!

    No going back

  25. Paula, I see you managed to nose out Contiguous by a few boats! (Congrats!) but I can't find you in this crowd at the club of 930 other boats. I have a bucket of iced champaign waiting for us at table #264. Hope you can find me! Don't see no need to save it all for C! He wouldn't expect us to!

    Yeah! I missed Belladonna as well as Dinty on this race.

    Finally, I play Rotisserie Football with my sons because they can't beat me a Virtual yachting and refuse even to get on the water with me.

  26. Congrats to No Going Back!!! All she showed me was stern. She must had a long night working the wind shifts. Leave me little bubbly please. I've got to repaint my bottom so I might be awhile.

    SO is a lot more intense on the Solitaire del Figaro. Can't program in 5 course changes over night. You can bet I'm going to give the south coast of jolly old England a very wide berth. You all should join in. - C

  27. In the real News of 6-August:

    Geraldton Western Australia is diverting to Vigo in northern Spain to medevac an injured crew member.

    British crew member, Russell Sandbach, 49, dislocated his knee and has a suspected fracture to his right leg after being thrown against the pulpit by a wave while he was working on the foredeck last night.

    Skipper, Juan Coetzer, told the Race Office that it happened at 2100 in heavy weather while Russell, a CEO from Northumberland, UK, was helping to drop the Yankee 2 headsail.

    Fellow round the world crew member, Jane Hitchins, 50, is a doctor and has been treating Russell, along with advice from the MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) in Falmouth. Russell’s family has been informed and he is comfortable on board, in the hospital bunk with his knee strapped up.

    Everyone else on board is safe and well.

    Geraldton Western Australia was approximately 56 miles from Vigo when the incident happened. They are due to arrive at the Marina Davila Sport at 1200UTC (1400 local time) where they will be met by an ambulance to take Russell to a local hospital for treatment.

    The team is still racing and the Race Committee will address any use of the engine once the race declaration is handed in in Madeira.

  28. Paula said...

    Hey Clipper Skippers!!

    Worth a quick look - Cowes Week - Yacht dismasted!

    No going back

  29. Hey, looks like you forgot the start of part 2 of leg 1.
    Hurry up all of you !!!

  30. What happened? The race committee fall asleep or did they NOT tell us there was going to be a start on purpose?

    We were having internet access issues and I used the Clipper site as a test and low and behold the race had been on for 6 plus hours - not good. I don't think I've had one race so far with out a one or two day email heads up. Bah hum bug!

  31. You are now very close to the leadership. Keep going, and fair winds, but you won't sleep a lot.