A Q&A with the Clipper Race crew

Crew member Richard Popper receiving our delicious hamper!
Crew member Richard Popper receiving our delicious hamper!

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race made a stop in Derry~Londonderry this June as part of the LegenDerry Maritime Festival.

We caught up with the crew of the Derry-Londonderry-Doire yacht in New York to ask them all you’ve ever wanted to know about sailing around the globe - as well as delivering a tasty food hamper. 

What's been the best bit so far and why?

Andy Richardson, Round the World crewmember: "It has to be the iconic sea approaches to the ports and cities we have visited. Christ the Redeemer overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, followed by Cape Town and the Table Mountain National Park, then Sydney Harbour dominated by the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Last but not least we are looking forward to Derry-Londonderry and the Peace Bridge, the entrance to the land of Guinness.”

What's it like showering and sleeping amidst 20-foot waves?

Andy: “Showering is the easiest to answer – we don’t! Baby wipes fast become your best friend. Salt water toothpaste is a taste I am still struggling to acquire even after eight months. Sleeping is easy. We are all so tired after working on deck that we can pretty much sleep anywhere. Round the world crews can sleep on deck in 20-metre waves and 40 knots of breeze!"

Favourite dinnertime meal on board?

Sam Gundry, Legs 7 & 8: “I would have to go for ‘Special Sunday’ as it is the only day of the week when we get to eat real meat. There is only so much you can do with freeze-dried chicken.”

What luxury items, if any, did you take with you?

Igor Seregin, Leg 7: “None. I reckon you don't need any luxury items for survival. The most valuable is an iPad – for e-books, diary, dictionary and communications during stopovers.”

Huw Barton, Leg 7: “Running gear for stopovers.”

What's the first thing you're going to do when you get home?

Breidge Boyle, Legs 7 & 8: “Derry-Londonderry is home and as there is little opportunity to walk on a 70-foot yacht I think that I'll walk up to my mother's house. I also doubt there is anyone who will offer me a lift until I have a shower! Whether I break the journey at any of the city's watering holes on the way remains to be seen!”

What is the best teamwork advice you can share?

Alan McLellan, Legs 4 & 7: “Two things – use of individual strengths to best advantage where possible, and clear communications between team members.”

Any close encounters with scary sea creatures?

Helen Black, Legs 2 & 7: “If you count one of the crew getting a flying squid in the eye – then yes! One night we had to clear about forty squid off the deck. We also encountered some amazing dolphins off Mexico that jumped, spun in the air and did all sorts of aerial tricks to entertain us. Observing some pilot whales up close was also pretty special. Oh, and the manta ray flipping out of the water was very cool. So all in all – plenty of sea life.”

Would you do it again?

Charlie Crapper, Round the World crewmember: “YES! I would love to do it again; it has been a great experience!”

The Derry~Londonderry~Doire came an impressive 5th in 2014, and the race will return to the city in 2015 - we're already excited!