Under 100 days to go until Clipper Race Finish hits Albert Dock
The countdown is officially on as the 2017-18 Clipper Race feet are due to finish their round the world yacht race in less than 100 days.
The Liverpool 2018 Clipper Race crew, along with Albert the Bear, celebrated yesterday (19 April 2018) as they reached the 100 day countdown until they arrive back in Liverpool’s Albert Dock on 28 July 2018.
Due to arrive in Seattle today, the crew are in high spirits as they look forward to completing their adventure soon. Below Liverpool 2018 Skipper, Lance Shepherd shares how the team are getting on in the race.
Do you think your team will win?
There is no straightforward answer to this one, as one of the most compelling things about ocean racing is the fact it isn’t over until its over! And this is even more true of the Clipper Race fleet, which is an eleven strong identical fleet of modern racing yachts, so the racing is close, tight and ultra-competitive.
In the last race, when Liverpool 2018 took third place into Qingdao, China, PSP Logistics led the way for eight of the twelve day race, only to be becalmed in a patch of no breeze next to the finish line and eventually placing sixth. and The Clipper Race fleet has even had photo finishes after thousands of miles of ocean racing.
At the moment, on the ninth race from Qingdao to Seattle, Liverpool 2018 is pushing hard in the middle of the fleet, but with hurricane force winds and a ‘phenomenal’ sea state of 14m, we put safety before racing. There is still some ground to go on this race and the team has decided to play the Joker card for this race, which will double the team’s race points and should help push Liverpool 2018 up the leaderboard.
Overall, the Liverpool 2018 team has been working hard and is no stranger to the podium. It’s too early to know exactly what will happen and its also too early to rule anything out. I know that the Liverpool 2018 team has developed the skills, the determination and the drive to do very well indeed and of course, we all hope to be as high on the leaderboard as possible!
Are you looking forward to the finish in Liverpool?
In many ways, it is very difficult to comprehend that the Clipper Race Finish in Liverpool is only 100 days away as our world becomes very small out here on the ocean, we take everything one day at a time, one watch at a time. As much as I have loved leading my non-professional crew of ocean racers around the globe, I am very excited to return home having completed the Clipper Race. It has been a long-standing ambition of mine to become a Clipper Race Skipper, but to be flying the flag for Liverpool, somewhere I have close connections with, is just incredible and fills me with so much pride.
I imagine it will take a little bit of time for the enormity of what the teams has achieved to settle in but it will be amazing to sail back up the Mersey eleven months after racing 24 hours a day across the worlds oceans.
How have you found the race so far?
The race overall has gone very well. It really is a race like no other and the crew have made it really special. By the time we get back to Liverpool, we will have had nearly 60 crew members, many of which had never stepped on a sailing yacht before signing up to take part, race either the whole way around, or take part in any number of legs from countries across the globe including Uruguay, Australia, South Africa, USA, France and the UK. The crew come from all walks of life and we have had doctors, accountants, logistics coordinators, managing directors, students, app developers and restaurant managers among many, but on board, there is no hierarchy and everyone is equal.
It has been amazing to watch the crew grow, develop and change as people whist racing and I know that for many of the crew, it has been a life-changing experience. It’s an honour to be a part of that.
What is it like living on the Liverpool 2018 Clipper Race yacht?
Living on the boat can be a challenge in itself, but there is a lot of peace of mind when you sail a Clipper 70 as they are solid, reliable, well-built yachts that are designed to take everything Mother Nature sends their way.
There is not much in the way of space; the entire space below decks to live in equates to the average living room, but every inch of space is used wisely. There is even less in the way of personal space! Crew hot bunk, so they share their bunks with a member of the opposite watch system, and it is testing again to live in such close proximity to one another. However, it is part of that proximity that brings the teams so closely together and they become like family.