Clipper preparations – from excitement to trepidation

A few weeks ago, if you’d asked me who ‘Clipper’ were, I would have said they make cigarette lighters, now it seems there’s been not much else going on in my mind but yacht racing preparations.  I’m already trying to plan menus for the crew, clothing, maintenance, …  and so far, I’ve only set foot on a boat for about 10 minutes whilst down in Gosport getting measured up for the crew clothing (the ‘oil skins’ as they can be known).

In all that time, the overriding emotion has been excitement.  For my family and close friends however, they seem to have been making up the other concerns of fear, nervousness, and trepidation (particularly when watching YouTube clips of 20 meter high waves crashing across the boat like a cork caught in the rapids, which up until today has just been making me even more excited).

Today however, my DVD box set series of the Clipper 11/12 race called ‘Against the Tide 2’ arrived, and I’ve been watching the first three episodes.

I do appreciate that the show is a highlight of the most exciting parts of the race (11 months of the race, across 10 boats, is reduced to just 6 hours of footage in total), so the examples used of a skipper getting a broken nose from a 12 stone pendulum of a crew member flailing around on a single rope just above the deck, doesn’t happen on a daily basis.. however, for the first time, my ongoing excitement has been more normalised into a feeling of “what have I got myself into!?”.

The reality check has been useful though, at least I have now slightly better realised that this will be a massive undertaking.  I look forward to the crew allocation day tomorrow.. meeting a lot of the rest of my crew for the first time!

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