By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

It’s now another couple of weeks on – all race forms have been downloaded, and in various stages of completeness. The paperwork is a journey of its own, with various appointments and action needed from me, and to ensure I’m both declared fully fit to take part, and covered for all eventualities!

Focus is now firmly on:

– the items I need to buy and the many I don’t (but probably will anyway). So far I’ve already got myself an Ocean Sleepwear waterproof sleeping bag (this thing is huge – apparently I can lie in it in water, and still stay both dry and warm – I hope I don’t have to test this theory), a pair of sailing wellies, knee pads, personalised iron on name tags for all of my clothes (which has definitely triggered memories of being back at school), more thermal layers than I thought I’d ever own, and a variety of dry bags to divide and store my clothes whilst onboard. The suggested checklist (from previous crew) definitely appeals to my personal want for gadgets and ‘stuff’. So far though (and despite the list above), I’m doing well to hold off.

– there are a selection of knots I need to learn (to tie when cold, dark, and battered by the elements). Sir Robin has challenged us to be prepared to demonstrate these at anytime, or risk the consequence! For those who know me, you will know that if there’s a competition or challenge, I don’t need to be told twice #ChallengeAccepted! The bannister (on my stairs) is proving to be a great place to practice. Knots – it’s all about Safety, Safety, Safety.

With my primary focus on anything and everything Clipper, keeping focused on day-to-day tasks (including work) now feels like an unwanted distraction. I‘m determined to win the battle against myself, and to not talk about the latest Clipper news with the first person I come into contact with. Seriously – anyone! Although if you are interested – just ask – that’s the permission I’ve given myself to start talking. I recently heard someone tell an old joke which immediately resonated, as I‘m pretty sure it applies to all Clipper Crew past and present (it certainly does based on those I’ve met so far). “How do you know if someone is vegan? Don’t worry – they’ll tell you.” Now replace ‘vegan’ with ‘Clipper Crew’. I’m sorry in advance if I’ve already bored you, or if I’m yet to bore you, it’s this Clipper bug – I’m fully gripped. I also warn you that we have another year together on this journey. Brace yourself.

So preparation aside – back to the race, and for a bit more information about my legs:

Leg 4 will be one race from Fremantle into the Southern Ocean heading South of Tasmania, before North across the Bass Strait and then up to Eastern Australia (port still tbc). We won’t be taking part in the Sydney Hobart Yacht race this edition.

Leg 6 will begin in Zhuhai and consist of two races – the tough beat East of Taiwan and then North up to Qingdao, before THE BIG ONE – crossing the mighty North Pacific Ocean across to the West Coast of America (port tbc). Have I mentioned – I really can’t wait for this leg?!

My actual sailing journey really isn’t too far away now, with preparations in full swing and my Level 1 training beginning in March. I’m keen that this isn’t all about me, and that I open it up and share with anyone who’s interested in being part it. For people actually interested in the race, I’m told there’s an addictive race viewer for you to monitor and track our progress throughout. I’m also keen to support UNICEF who are now in their third year as Clipper’s chosen charity partner. I’ve created a Just Giving page to support the amazing work they do for young children around the world – feel free to share and contribute if you also wish to support their work. More info on UNICEF as a go…

Ching Ching Clipper “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin

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