Clipper Round the World Race

Partner at HK participated in the Clipper Round the World Race

| Published on February 9, 2016

Victoria Pearson is a partner at Humphries Kirk Dorchester. During December she participated in the Clipper Round the World Race, and here she recounts the experience.

“I joined the crew on November the 24th in Albany, Western Australia. The first race was 13 days long round the South of Tasmania, across the Bass Straits and then up to Sydney.

“It was a baptism of fire with a lot of the post-race crew discussion in Sydney confirming the race was harder than the race across the Southern Oceans, such was the relentless slog into a headwind.

We then had a few days off upon reaching Sydney as the fleets anti –fouling paint was reapplied to each boat. All boat maintenance and repair is the responsibility of its crew and I therefore spent a very interesting couple of days in the Sydney Marina learning the art of anti-fouling application! In addition time was spent repairing the damage caused in the last race, stitching sails, re-running lines, repairing sheets etc. and preparing for the next race.”

“Our next adventure was the iconic Sydney Hobart race on Boxing Day. I had failed to appreciate how synonymous this race is with Christmas in the Australian psyche – and how dangerous. Everyone I met, when told I was participating, looked at me with wonder in their eyes (as well as a faint questioning of my mental capacity).”

“The nerves I had on the first race start were nothing compared to this time around, but they were worth it! To start a race in Sydney harbour surrounded by almost 100 other competitors as well as so many spectator boats, lining the course, was incomparable and unforgettable.”

“We hit a storm as soon as we left Sydney and almost all of the crew succumbed to sea sickness. However, once that passed, our second crossing of the Bass straits was almost benign – I never expected to be able to sunbathe there.”

“We arrived in Hobart after three days of hard racing. A relentless, four hours on, four hours off watch system. However, it was worth it for the amazing welcome we received from the Tasmanians. People lined every inch of the harbour and cheered every boat as it came in, a spectacle I will never forget.”

“We left Hobart on the 2nd January for our third and final race; to Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays. This was an eight day race mostly under spinnaker with a variable tail wind. There was also a steady temperature increase, from 20 degrees when we left Hobart, reaching about 35 degrees on our arrival. You can only imagine how hot that is below deck, when all the windows are sealed and there is no wind.”

“When we reached Airlie Beach my race was over and I knew I had experienced something I would be unlikely to replicate ever again – the sight of the overwhelming scale of an ocean when your boat is the only thing you can see and the sea’s ability to change in size, colour and ferocity in an instant.”

“I have learnt a wealth of life lessons…some I expected, some I didn’t! But I know I will take those experiences on and remember it for the rest of my life.”

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