What are you hoping to have achieved by this time next year? Many people set goals like ‘lose weight’ or ‘save more money’ but what if I told you it’s possible to take part in a round the world sailing challenge, allowing you to circumnavigate the globe in under a year despite having no previous sailing experience. Sounds pretty epic, right?
If you’re thinking – ‘but I’ve got no idea how to sail around the world,’ then you’re in luck. The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is an incredible opportunity that allows ordinary, everyday people to take on a challenge usually reserved for seasoned pros. If you want to achieve something out-of-this-world amazing this year, then this is the challenge for you.
How to sail around the world: Getting started
50 years ago, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston made headlines as the first man to sail solo and non-stop around the world in 1968-69. On arriving back in Falmouth, after a history-making 312 days at sea, Sir Robin wanted others to experience the sheer exhilaration and elation that he felt. By 1996, the first Clipper Race crew left Plymouth aboard eight 60-foot yachts and an incredible challenge was born.
Conquering the Everest of the seas was once the domain of highly skilled sailors and a feat far out of the reaches of the general public, however, the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race has changed all that. It’s possible to take part, even if you’ve never set foot on a boat before (and what an incredible first boat trip it would be).
The race is divided into eight legs between 13 and 16 individual races, and you can choose to complete the full circumnavigation or select individual legs. Each 70-foot ocean racing yacht is supplied by the organisers, along with a fully qualified skipper and first mate to guide the rest of the crew.
You’ll cross six oceans, endure epic storms, navigate to far away lands and enjoy some of the most breathtaking sunsets you’ll ever see, all the while forming fierce bonds with your crew and creating lifelong memories. The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race brings together people from all walks of life, teaming up office workers with students, athletes and housewives to form a dynamic team united against the elements.
Professional sailors embarking on a round the world ocean race would undergo a rigorous training programme and that’s no different with the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Regardless of previous experience, every single crew member will complete four levels of training enabling you to tackle everything Mother Nature has to throw at you. You’ll work with professional skippers onboard 70-foot yachts (just like the one you’ll sail around the world in), to gain the knowledge you need to stay safe and efficient out on the open ocean. It won’t be easy, but when you’re facing the mountainous seas of the North Pacific, you’ll be thankful for putting in the hard yards and learning your stuff.
In the first week, you’ll learn crewing skills, figuring out how to sail while being pushed to the limit, physically and mentally. Next up, you’ll find out how to tackle offshore sailing and life onboard a 70-foot ocean racing yacht – this includes everything from learning to work in a watch system to living life on the ocean at a 45-degree angle while racing.
More technical training follows, building your confidence and pushing you out of your comfort zone until the next move becomes instinctive, just like second nature to you. This week will help you understand not only how to sail, but how to race, how to make the boat go faster and listen to your commands, no matter the weather system you’re currently tackling. The final training stage gives you a chance to put into practice all the skills you’ve learnt with a practice race against the Clipper fleet. Adrenaline kicks in as you set the finish line within your sights – this final stage of the training gives you a tiny taste of what racing the world could feel like.
How to sail around the world: Getting out there
So now there’s no more excuses. Don’t know how to sail around the world? You’ll get extensive training. Don’t own a boat? A fleet of 70-foot yachts will be provided. No sailing gear or equipment? You’ll receive hand-picked technical clothing from the leading supplier during your training.
There is no greater feeling of triumph than the one you will feel on completing this extraordinary challenge, and there is no adventure so great as taking on the high seas. Not only is it one of the most adventurous ways to travel and see the world, it is also one of the most sustainable, helping you save the world while you explore its foreign shores.