The Clipper Race is a yacht race around the world that is like none other. All yachts are the same, they’ve been stripped down to bare bones and adventure-seekers PAY to be a part of this year-long race. Each boat is sponsored by a company or in our case by a destination and I along with a few other Jamaican bloggers was invited to set sail on the Jamaica Get All Right yacht with Skipper Stirling from England and his crew. Sounded like a fun adventure, who doesn’t love a nice little cruise out one the calm seas with a good cocktail in hand? HA! There’s sailing and then there’s Clipper sailing as I was about to find out.
A few of the 70ft yachts seen above, you can see the Jamaica Get All Right yacht in the mix. Pete Stirling is the man behind the wheel of the Jamaican yacht and this is his second time competing in the Clipper Race. This is also his second time with the Jamaican-sponsored yacht as luck would have it. These yacht hold a crew of maximum 29 persons on any given leg of the race. You can participate all year long or you can participate on a leg or two, whatever tickles your fancy. Fancy isn’t a word I’d use to describe these yachts however, everything is manual and bare bones and just the process of getting those humongous sails up is an experience. The steering wheel is not inside a luxurious cabin but exposed to Mother Nature and must be manned through each storm and dark, gloomy night. All-throughout the sail I kept asking myself….but whhhhyyyyyy?!?!?! My sense of adventure is just nothing compared to these thrill-seekers who are racing all around the world. With stops in China, Australia, New York and Jamaica, there are a few perks to be had for sure. And Skipper told me they have fresh bread every morning which I surely don’t have so hey, things aren’t all that bad on board!
Skipper Stirling’s wife was an absolute doll to me aboard the 2 and a half hour sail as it was some of the roughest seas I’ve ever been on and there were a few moments I was sure I was about to lose the contents of my stomach. Let me share with you a little bit of what that was like in this video:
Mid-way through the video the yacht turns and things calm down a bit as we were no longer sailing against the winds. Or something like that. The turn was high excitement! I wish you could hear everything that was happening more clearly.
Waters so angry and deep and blue!
Skipper Stirling and Jerome, a little Jamaican boy who has been following the Clipper Race ever since Jamaica’s last entry which was over 3 years ago. He’s a dedicated fan! Got himself a private tour of the yacht. The inside of these yachts leave a lot to be desired. The bunks, the “shower” the kitchen where they bake their fresh bread. I would not last y’all. The longer legs of the race go on well over a month. I. Would. Not. Last. And they pay for this type of adventure. I love adventure. Gimme a plane ticket though over the sails in the storm! Out in the open waters? Sailing some of the most remote parts of the world? Do they know we still can’t find the plane??? Skipper told us of a guy on another yacht who was thrown overboard by rough waves and was out there for over an hour and a half in 5 degree water until they could find him and rescue him! Not this chica. But I for SURE tip my hat to these men and women for they are all braver and stronger and maybe even funner than me.
Are you signing up for the next race? You can do just that at clipperroundtheworld and see lots more coverage of the Jamaican leg of the race on the JTB’s youtube channel or by clicking on the #clipperjamaica hashtag on twitter.