I wrote about my Level 3 preps the night before it all started (see Blog 53: Clipper Level 3 looms …. in fact it’s already started, published 14 Mar), having driven down, once again, to stay with my brother just north of Portsmouth. Once again he was away. This time, early starts for those “at home” meant his wine cellar got away scott free. An early start for me meant more Clipper safety training, this time concentrating on safety aspects of a Clipper 70 yacht, and a little recap on Level 2 sea survival training (See Blog 28: Level 2 Training Part 1. Sea Survival, published 25 Oct 18) and a chance to meet my fellow Level 3 Clipperees.
Training was in the more than capable hands of Lance Shepherd, skipper of Liverpool 2018 in the previous edition of the Race.
As far as the Level 3 team were concerned let’s just say we were “small but perfectly formed”; 3 Brits, 3 Americans and a Frenchman. 6 male, 1 female, 1 circumnavigator and 6 “leggers” of varying numbers. Another “oldest” podium finish for me but this time not in the gold medal winning position. The safety training was excellent, very relevant, a good introduction to the Clipper 70s
and a timely refresher on the Level 2 stuff. At the end of our first day we moved to Clipper HQ, met our skipper for the week and moved onboard our yacht – in this case CV31, which had raced as Nasdaq in the last edition. Our skipper was Conall Morrison who had skippered Hotel Planner.com in the last edition of the Race, more than ably assisted by the South African David “Wavy” Immelman as Mate who I introduced in Blog 54: Clipper 2019-2020 Skippers Announced, published 26 Mar, and who was, at the time, awaiting the results of the Clipper skipper 2019-2020 selection.
Conall (top) and Wavy (bottom) with a rather ironic/appropriate picture of Hotel Planner.com in the middle. Appropriate in that she is approaching Wavy’s home port of Cape Town which is where I am sitting to finally get around to writing this blog, and ironic that she is flying her spinnaker given that we never got around to that on Level 3 training given Storm Gareth and it’s immediate aftermath.
……. to be continued ………..