Founded in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who in his boat Suhaili, was the first person to solo circumnavigate the globe, The Clipper Round The World yacht race is one of the biggest challenges of the natural world and an endurance test like no other. It’s a record breaking 11 month, 40,000 nautical mile race around the world on a 70-foot ocean racing yacht.
No prior sailing experience is necessary (40% of participants have never sailed before signing up) and other than the skipper, the 20 odd crew members on each boat are entirely amateur. All that is asked of participants is a good level of fitness and a thirst for adventure into the unknown. The race is split into 8 legs and crew can chose to either participate in the full circumnavigation or depending on circumstance participate in specific legs (I decided to do legs 5 & 6). It is the only race in the world where the organisers supply a fleet of twelve identical racing yachts, each with a fully qualified skipper.
Normally the domain of seasoned pros, this supreme challenge is taken on by ordinary, everyday people. Having completed 4 weeks of rigorous training, participants are ready to commence the race of their lives - an unparalleled challenge where taxi drivers rub shoulders with chief executives, vicars mix with housewives, students work alongside bankers, and architects team up with rugby players.