March Yachts & Yachting
The March edition of Yachts & Yachting magazine has just gone to press.
It includes a feature I’ve written on the Clipper Round the World Race. This was an interesting one for me – I know of many people who sailed in the Global Challenge, the race around the world in which people paid to sail the ‘wrong way’. For many years, for what are clearly illogical reasons, I always felt that the Global Challenge was a more of a true race – I have no idea why beating against trade winds should be in any way inherently more competitive than taking a route through the Panama Canal. But these races generate bizarre preconceptions. The challenge for event organisers is usually to try and persuade non-sailors to ditch any preconceptions that they cannot learn to sail and compete. Ironically, writing for Yachts & Yachting, I realised I was dealing with the preconception that racing sailors would not want to sail alongside novices to compete in it.
Both the sailors and skippers I spoke to were honest about how they try and resolve the tension between needing to give a grandmother who wants to see the world the same quality of experience as a racing sailor who wants to explore the furthest reaches of the oceans. At over £40,000 for a year-long full race berth the pressure is on the skippers to manage expectations, while with some Legs stretching for over 5000 miles the racing is relentless.