When I started this blog, I had the aim of sailing around the world with total freedom in a boat of my choosing towards any destination I desired to discover myself and test my limits; it seems the universe is making part of that dream come true earlier than expected! In February I was selected to be a crew member in the 2019-20 Clipper Round-the-World sailing race!! I am blown away that this is actually happening and am still walking around in a state of shock!
In one short year and half I'll be setting sail on a 70' Clipper high performance sailboat with 20 or so other sailors braving rough and stormy seas, blistering heat and biting cold, racing at least 10 other crews across the Atlantic towards the South American coast and beyond. For those of you who do not know what the Clipper RTW is, it is a race made up of eight segments, called "legs," that comprise a full circumnavigation, starting and ending in the UK. The teams are made up of individuals with varying levels of sailing experience ranging from total novice (me) to very experienced sailors, and each boat is allocated crew to make the teams as equal as possible. Hence, because no team will have a serious advantage over the other in terms of skill, the level of teamwork will be a huge factor! It's a close cousin to the Volvo Ocean Race (in fact sometimes they occupy the same ports at the same time).
The Clipper RTW is even the subject of an award-winning sports documentary series called "Race of Their Lives," which is currently in its third installment. While I have not yet received word whether or not there will be a fourth installment during the 2019-20 race, if the producers do decide to continue the series, that will possibly be one way to experience what my journey next year will be like! Here's an excerpt from the first episode so you can get a flavor of how AWESOME this opportunity is:
As my close friends know, I'm a bit of an adventure junkie, which makes all of this so perfect. Though at this moment I'm overwhelmed with information, I do know that I will be keeping a personal crew diary, that there will be some media presence while onboard, and that our boats' locations will be live-tracked on the Clipper RTW's website during the race! Plus I'll be keeping this blog up-and-running for the duration of the race and beyond, so there will be plenty of chances to follow me.
One aspect of the Clipper RTW of which I am particularly proud are the organizers' commitment to give back to the world. By participating in the 2019-20 race, the folks at Clipper will be sending money to UNICEF, a respected charity that fights for children's rights around the globe. Given that I have strong personal feelings about preserving childhood and ensuring children get the education they need to thrive, I couldn't be happier that we are partnering with UNICEF. Over the last year I have been reflecting deeply on what my purpose on this planet is, and while I still do not know, I do know that I want to help people, which is why I am excited to be contributing in some small way.
There are quite a few things I have to get done before I climb onboard, the very first of which is to get a physical (haven't done that since college). Once that is finished I have to complete the first of four weeks of training in the UK where I'll learn the basics of crewing and living aboard a high performance racing sailboat. I've scheduled that first week for the end of June, early July, and I'm so pumped!!!
I also have to get back in shape... these boats we'll be crewing are huge, so the forces exerted on the sails and lines will require lots of winch grinding (i.e. cardio and upper body strength). Getting in shape in the next 4 months will be no easy task since I've been on a 5 month hiatus from exercise to focus on work, school, and studying, and I wasn't doing so hot on the workout front before then either. I went to the gym yesterday, and after just one hour I am embarrassed to say I got so light headed I thought I was going to pass out. At least I have the goal of getting fit again to look forward to!
The other large task on my plate is to raise money to make this all happen. All of the training, gear, berth fees for the full circumnavigation, and minor living expenses come out to be about $83,000 USD (though I have to pay everything in GBP, so the actual amount could go up or down depending on the currency exchange rates), and I have to raise this amount by the end of the year. I've never fundraised before, but this seems doable! That being said, I need your help so that I can achieve my dream! Please, if you can spare $5, $10, $20, $100, or more, visit my GoFundMe page. I would sincerely appreciate your help! And even if you are not financially in a place to assist, please, please, please share this post and my GoFundMe page so that the word can spread! There is so much negativity in the world right now, but it is my sincere belief that the more positivity we push out there, the better this world becomes!
Also, if anyone has any fundraising tips, I am all ears. I really am starting at this from scratch, and in the next week or two I will be buying some books and engaging this with full force. Since I live in Colorado, and I need the exercise, I was thinking about doing some sort of fundraising events such as climbing 14ers or biking long distances or the like. Stay tuned for that when I get that idea fleshed out more! Thanks again everybody!!
Please share this post and my: GoFundMe (and donate if you can). Thank you! :)