Clipper Race to Rio: The marathon finish

If you’ve ever run a marathon, you know it’s not 26 miles. It’s 26.2 miles. And you know that because, if you’re anything like me, you cursed each and every agonizing step of that last 0.2 miles. In 2006, a few months after our wedding, I convinced Ryan to train with me for our first-ever marathon, completely naïve to the… Read more

Race to Rio Week 3: The pain, the gain and the final push

clipper race to rio nick helm

Day 20: The pain “The Doldrums is essentially a race restart,” says the Skipper. “The boats that break away first could easily find themselves hundreds of miles ahead of the whole fleet in just a day or two.” I am thinking about this statement when I wake up to the news that three boats have broken out of the east… Read more

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink

clipper race rainbow

Day after day, day after day, We stuck, nor breath nor motion; As idle as a painted ship Upon a painted ocean.   Water, water, every where, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, every where Nor any drop to drink. — The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1798)   We know something is seriously… Read more

Day 13 Race to Rio: Weather helm

henri lloyd clipper race to rio

Oh, how quickly things change. I was all set to write in my journal how today was just another dull day in the Doldrums when suddenly it wasn’t. All afternoon we sit around willing the wind to pick up, blistering in the sun and complaining about the heat. Where normally I’m happiest at the helm, today it is hard to… Read more

Race to Rio: Life in the Doldrums

doldrums clipper race to rio

As if racing and living on board a Clipper yacht weren’t challenging enough, mid-way through our second week of racing, it becomes clear at this early stage in the race that we are stuck in the dreaded Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), better known as the Doldrums. But it would seem we’re not alone. Where the previous position reports showed most… Read more

Clipper Race to Rio: There will be blood

clipper race to rio nick helm

Day 8: An anniversary at sea The Skipper pops his head up through the hatch and says in a serious tone, “Tasha, can I see you in the nav station?” “Uh oh,” someone mutters. Everyone in the cockpit spins around to look at me on the helm, wondering what I could possibly have done to provoke a private meeting with… Read more

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