14. On With The Motley

To continue post 12 where I was so suddenly cut off. Who was missing? George of course, here he is enjoying another outdoor sport.

You’ll be glad to see he is flying the flag for Clipper! Thankfully he didn’t damage any limbs so his berth is still safe on whichever yacht they assign him to.

There were over 200 applications for Race Skippers, of which only 11 are needed. We should know who they are and which ones will be looking after MBB in May, as well as the boat sponsors. For the first time this year there will be an Additionally Qualified Person (AQP) on each boat, all of whom are qualified to at least Yachtmaster Offshore. This is to improve safety for the crew, as last time one skipper injured himself seriously and had to be medevac’d by the Portuguese Coastguard. It’s on youtube but I can’t find it at the moment. This meant that they were on their own for a while. This happened previously when one skipper ended up looking after three yachts. Read “Team Spirit” by Brendan Hall for the full story.

What I did find is that the Crew Allocation Day was streamed live last year. If you are doing nothing important on May 11th this year, watch it to find out who George and John are sailing with. You may even see us in the audience if you watch carefully!

An indicative coastguard ship

The Coastguards around the world do great stuff, mostly in dangerous conditions. This instance used a helicopter to remove the skipper from the Ocean. Quite amazing. If you can find the video.

Back to January 19th. We found out there are five types of partners to Clipper. Team partners (the name on each yacht), team supporters (not us but local companies or organisations at each port), the Host Port Partner (could be the town, city, region etc), and the Fleet Partners / Official Suppliers, both of whom support the whole fleet not just one boat. At each stopover there will be activities the crew are expected to get involved in as part of the sponsorship.

We then heard about the clothing that will be given to crew. Those people at the event collected their jackets, here’s two more crew with theirs.

Musto were at the meeting with examples of the outer clothing for all to try on.  Some of the clothing will be bespoke to Clipper. I found out us supporters also get stuff! At the 2018 return to Liverpool we saw lots of “old” jackets from previous races, worn with great pride. Team kit is identical across the fleet, although each yacht has its own colours so watch out for the polo shorts and jackets of the team you decide to support once they’re on their way! Most of the clothing will be handed out either at Training Level 4 or when they join the boat for the race. There will be three short films by Musto to show you what’s worn in different climates. If you go to http://www.musto.com/en_GB/clippre-race-event.html you’ll see the full kit and some interesting articles, including Donna (in the photo above).

Many of the crew have personal charities they are supporting but the main Clipper one is Unicef, who hope to raise at least £300,000, which would make it over £1 million raised by Clipper whilst they’ve been supporting Unicef. it was suggested I could knit a woolly hat for each crew member and raise funds that way. Need to start now!

What do you think?

In addition to the four weeks training there are other courses the crew can take. More on these in another post. I’ll also be giving more details on how the race works.