The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today

All of my Clipper race forms have finally been completed and returned – phew! I’m pretty sure the Clipper Race team now know as much about me, as I do about myself!

Level 1 training is now less than a week away. While I’m not entirely new to sailing, this first Clipper course will be a week of re-introducing the basic principles of sailing and seamanship as well as personal safety techniques. I’m intrigued to know what learning things the Clipper way really means, and how it will provide as a foundation for the rest of what’s to come. We’ll be spending our training week on the Clipper 68 training yacht, and hopefully most of these days out in the English Channel. Maybe a little optimistic, but let’s hope… At the end of the week, I’ll need to pass the level 1 assessment which includes demonstrating knowledge in the following areas: knots, rope work, sailing knowledge, safety, and successfully perform an agility test.  To give you an indication on what level 1 agility test comprises of, see below:

▪ Climb into and out of, a top bunk (without assistance). I used to always choose the top bunk as a child – CHECK.

▪ Transit under the mainsheet traveller in full sailing gear and lifejacket (without assistance). I did pretty well when taking part in races dressed in over sized costumes in it’s a knock out – CHECK

▪ Climb onto the yacht without the use of a step or fender step (using spring line, without assistance). 

▪ Climb into and out of the aft lazarette through the hatch in full sailing gear and lifejacket (without assistance)

▪ Grind a “bricked” up staysail (in bag) to the height of second spreader, as a pair. – I managed to get my new (huge!!) waterproof sleeping bag into a normal sized sleeping bag holder, and I’ve always been pretty good with changing my duvet in record time – CHECK.

With the training I’ve already been putting in, even when I didn’t know it (climbing into my bunk bed), let’s hope I pass!

For this week’s homework, I plan to optimise my work travel (train and plane) time with some reading up from the Crew Manual. Having read some of the Facebook updates from the crew who have already completed level 1, it comes highly recommended to turn up prepared with both foundational sailing theory, and able to do all of the knots in the syllabus.

Since my last update, I’ve applied for, and received my ticket (and supporter ticket) for Crew Allocation Day. This is the day we get to meet all of the Skippers, all of our fellow crew, and find out who which crew/team/sponsor we will be aligned to, as well as getting further information about the race, and some of the newly confirmed ports. Following a tough selection process, the 2019/20 Skippers have now been selected. Having read through the update, and the bios of each, I already get a feeling for the high calibre of people who will be part of this amazing journey. I wonder which lucky Skipper will have the joy of me being part of their Crew?! Roll on May 11th when we find out….

It continues to be a real balance between focusing my mind on work, and my upcoming Clipper adventure. Fortunately I work with great people and have great teams, where the opportunity to really blur the lines between who we are as people and how we apply ourselves both in and outside of work, is pretty complimentary – particularly at this stage in my journey(s). Bringing teams together to align on a common course (goal), while ensuring we all know our role and how to communicate with each other, in order to make the crew (team) the most efficient it can be, applies to both sailing and work.  My ultimate goal is that while I’m doing my Clipper training this summer, and competing in the race, my work teams (crew!) will remain on course, and without thinking, step up a gear to make decisions together, in order to reach our agreed destination – without me!

Ching Ching Clipper “The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” ― H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

With UNICEF Clipper’s chosen charity partner, if you wish to donate and support their great work (as I hope to raise some money as I go), please do so via my Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/TC-1.

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