Blog 1 from my Clipper Round the World yacht race for charity
We sail from here to Fremantle Australia today…about 24-26 days racing…the yacht is bursting at the seams with food and 22 people… here’s my thoughts from a few days back…
My challenge begins… a humungous long flight from Utah through Istanbul to Cape Town. This is the first of no doubt many opportunities to reflect upon my life, and my privileged course within it so far.
News of horror, pain and suffering surfaces daily on every front, not least of those struggling with drought in the places I cruise over in my palace in the sky. Meanwhile, I chow down another out of sync meal, washed down with unneeded wine!
Incredibly, we crossed the North African coast 9 hours ago …and it’s another hour until we will land in Cape Town. Here, the Clipper Round the World fleet of 11 identical racing yachts has straggled into the bustling Waterfront, after 18 tough days across the South Atlantic from Uruguay. They are all frantically cleaning, repairing, and restocking in these next few days.
I am about to pitch into what they have endured over the last few weeks, since leaving London on Sept 1st, with no exact concept of what is about to happen to me. If I really knew what is going to hit me as we Round Africa’s southernmost Cape Agulhas, heading East to Australia, maybe I would stay out on safari, and then head home for skiing, the office and Pickleball.
Yes, I did five weeks of intensive training and now I can haul on the sheets, grind on the winches and helm within the few degrees of accuracy needed to keep our speed up, but undoubtedly not well enough for the now fully experienced crew I will join tomorrow ! We have a new skipper and a new rudder, and lots of other repairs.
Leading here, I have slept a few nights, or should I say a few hours, at 45 degrees angle in crashing waves, cleaned the heads, tried to bake spuds in an under temperature oven, and learned how I must keep calm if I was to fall overboard …. so I should be ready… right??!
Our crews are 20 ish, split into 2 shifts, some are going all around the world… my absolute hero’s… and some like me are “leggers”, joining for some legs of the journey.
But why? you may ask, and I still do too; I suppose it is because I still can, and after a prostate cancer scare and turning 70 on Dec 3rd, I’d better do it now!
My life has been so lucky and so easy to date, enjoying a certain level of success and comfort; never in the military, enduring and witnessing unimaginable horrors, or having to push myself to my absolute limits…. whatever they might turn out to be!
During my 3 trips to Antarctica I was so inspired by the great Southern ocean, it’s beauty, and the bravery of the explorers such as Shackleton and Scott who endured so much there. So yes, I signed up … and paid for this safari on the seas, wanting to embrace something similar, and to explore those limits and the oceans as well ….time will tell.
But this not just about me, it is also to raise money for my two favourite charities, Fistula Foundation and Wheelchairs. You can click on these links to them and follow us in the meantime… so please, help me to help them.
Free Wheel Chair Mission and Fistula Foundation and not to forget the official sponsor UNICEF. Your support for each, or all, will be much appreciated. Perhaps you could consider these for family Xmas presents, or for your annual giving?
The race started in London on Sept 1 …. here is the link to update you on the race so far, and ongoing, after I leave Cape Town at 4 pm from The Cape Town Waterfront today November 17 – https://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/race/standings press on our boat name – Imagine your Korea – in the listing.
TIM LAPAGE... IN CAPE TOWN TO PICK UP MY CLIPPER ROUND THE WORLD YACHT RACE