The Clipper Race is a true test, the participants are challenged to battle across 40,000 nautical miles aboard 70 foot ocean racing yachts in the roughest seas on earth. The race began as the brainchild of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world and it has inspired many to take up his challenge. One such person is Matt Conyers, the Helmer of The Unity Lets. We follow an account of his time as he undertakes the voyage across the southern hemisphere.
Matt will be aboard NASDAQ as it completes its journey between Cape Town and Fremantle, Western Australia battling through some of the toughest waters in the world. With 80 foot swells and wind speeds of up to 70 mph, it will be no easy voyage for the crew. In preparation for this, Matt and the crew are currently undergoing two weeks training in the Solent.
The first day was a late start after arriving in South Hampton, the crew spent the day loading all of the gear needed onto the boat ready for the next two weeks training. The rest of the day was spent at the pub for the crew to get to know each other and prepare for the next two weeks.
The second day began with an early start for the crew with everyone being woken up and ready to go for 6:45am. The day was used to acquaint the crew with their new home for the next 2 weeks, Matt and the crew were introduced to the boat with a focus on safety and how the boat will operate at sea. After this and a quick lunch to refuel the crew, they spent the afternoon familiarising themselves with the knot work that will become vital to their success over the coming months. At 5pm the boat set off from the marina to explore the Solent, for the crew’s first taste of the challenge to come. The sheer size of the vessel became apparent here, the 70 foot boat was no easy task to sail. It required all of the crew’s efforts combined to control the massive sails however this was just motivation for the team leaving them excited for the challenge to come.
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