Please select your home edition
Edition
Clipper Ventures
JOIN THE RACE JOIN THE 2019-20 RACE MAGAZINE DOWNLOAD THE OFFICIAL SOUVENIR RACE MAGAZINE Check out the latest photo galleries from The Clipper Race
UNICEF ABOUT UNICEF

Zhuhai Ambassador Crew reflections one year on from completing Clipper Race training

by Clipper Round the World Race 23 Jul 07:54 BST
Clipper Race Training © Clipper Race

A year on from completing their Clipper Race training programme, the Zhuhai Ambassador Crew members share their memories, photos and videos. They reflect on what they have already achieved and look forward to what is still to come on their Clipper Race journey.

Pan Yue, one of the two Zhuhai Ambassador Crew members on board for Leg 1, raced from London to Punta del Este, via Portimao, she said: It's been a year since we first arrived in the UK for our training with the Clipper Race. Not only did we gain the precious memories with teammates and training staff there, but also the practical knowledge and skills needed to become a qualified and responsible seafarer.

"For a rookie like me, it was not easy to apply the sailing theory illustrated in the training manual into the real world. During level 1 and 2, the Skippers and First Mates were super helpful and patient when teaching us the sailing techniques, in different wind conditions. We drilled the Man Overboard (MOB) scenarios and other safety manoeuvres many times to make sure everyone knew the procedures of dealing with any potential emergencies. Level 3 and 4 perfectly demonstrated living life at 45 degrees and certainly helped us to adapt to the watch systems on board. The crossing of the English Channel became the first offshore sailing record in my logbook. How special!"

All Clipper Race crew, including Ambassador Crew Members must undergo and pass four levels of intense and comprehensive training. This includes both on the water and shore based learning from basic sailing skills and evolutions, to safety at sea and racing tactics. No matter what previous sailing experience Race Crew have, all must complete the training programme. The goal is to provide them with the skills and tools that are needed in order to become a safe and efficient ocean racing crew member, preparing them for one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet.

Pan Yue added: "After practicing over and over again, our team work got more and more efficient throughout the four levels of training. All the things I had learned came in very handy in the following Leg 1 races. Thanks to the thorough training, we were well-prepared to embark on a journey for our race of life."

Qu Jiamin, nicknamed Jessica, has been maximising her Clipper Race experience. Despite currently having an extended wait to join her Zhuhai team for Leg 7 when the Clipper 2019-20 Race resumes in 2021, she previously flew to Cape Town to experience the stopover, meet up with her teammates and help with maintenance on board.

As a Sailing Instructor in China she is an experienced sailor in her own right yet Jessica still found the Clipper Race training tough. She reports: "I can't believe it's been a year since the race training, parts of experience already fade from my memory, only the most bitter and most happy are kept in my mind. The four weeks of training were hard, but I benefited from all the experienced Clipper Race instructors, the organised training system, and my teammates.

"I suppose I knew most of the sailing skills before I joined the Clipper Race, however even the most familiar ability such as cooking on board became difficult when the boat angle of inclination was over 15 degree, and rolling!"

Alongside the sailing skills the Clipper Race training is also there to provide insight into what it's like to live on board; the experience is a true challenge and so is not for everyone. Jessica reflects on some of the difficulties she and her fellow ambassadors faced: "Communication is very important on the 70ft yacht, especially when on the extreme water crossing oceans. One of the ambassadors struggled with the language and so did not pass Level 1. Another member had to leave due to terrible seasickness, not only him, the feeling of seasickness was also a worry for me. A lady finally retired from Level 3, with the physicality of sailing becoming too much.

"But the love of sailing and the yearning for the sea encouraged most of us to stay and to face the hard work every day, and enjoy our transformation from a bluebird to a true sailor. This was just the beginning of our dream, we still have a long way to go, but we appreciate that the Clipper Race opens this window!"

A video shared by Lin Tang, otherwise known as Michael, from his Level 4 training. Here you can see the fleet line up for a practice Le Mans start from the perspective of being on board Zhuhai.

On his involvement in the race and looking forward to the North Pacific crossing Michael said: "Time flies, the first half of pandemic-haunted 2020 is over. This has also affected my participation of Leg 6 in Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

"I was in the US early this year, my original plan was to return to China in February to join the race, although just around Chinese New Year, Covid-19 started to break out. Options of joining the race through other countries was challenging, so I applied for changing to Leg 7, and the team agreed. With both anticipation and disappointment, I watched the fleet arrive into Subic Bay, Philippines, as there would be another two months to go before I was able to get on board.

"However, on March 16 2020, the professional staff of Clipper Race organising committee, as per the situation back then, with careful thinking and consideration, made the hard decision of postponing the race!"

Whilst a disappointment Micheal is looking forward to continuing his Clipper Race journey. Philosophically he said: "Why do we attend this event? Because we're all in love of sailing! What's maritime spirit? Be prepared and united, be aware of dangers although not taking risks, be cautious and brave!"

The Clipper 2019-20 Race is set to resume in February 2021 and the route will see the fleet visit the sailing and island city of Zhuhai as well as the other two Chinese destinations of Sanya and Qingdao as previously scheduled. When Jessica, Michael and the remaining Zhuhai Ambassadors will be able to put their training to the test and complete the journey they started over a year ago.

For more information visit www.clipperroundtheworld.com.

Related Articles

Wendy Tuck - Breaking records and barriers
The first female Skipper to win a round the world yacht race Becoming a trailblazer was not Wendy Tuck's intention when she signed up to be a Skipper in the Clipper 2018-17 Race - the Australian simply wanted to go sailing. Posted on 1 Aug
Meet the Clipper Race crew: Abdelhamid Abouyoussef
Founding the answer to a long unanswered question "I found the answer to a long unanswered question." Said Abdelhamid Abouyoussef about taking part in Clipper Race. Like many who apply Abdelhamid, a Managing Director, as always wanted to circumnavigate the world, but on his own logistics were complicated Posted on 26 Jul
Reflections on the final ocean crossing
The final leg of the Clipper Race comes with tremendous highs but also lows The final leg of the Clipper Race comes with tremendous highs but also lows as it means the global journey is coming to an end. At a time when the Clipper 2019-20 Race crew should have been completing their penultimate race of the series Posted on 25 Jul
Meet Qingdao ambassador Zhang Shan
Shan joined her team in the Whitsundays, to race over 5,000nm The legacy of the Qingdao Ambassador programme continues to inspire new sailors into the sport. Having never sailed before, Zhang Shan, a ESL Teacher from Qingdao, China is testament to this. Posted on 18 Jul
Beyond the Race - Where are they now?
What happens to the Clipper Race crew when their adventure comes to an end? What happens to the Clipper Race crew when their adventure comes to an end? Well, for many, what they experienced at sea will change their life on land forever. Posted on 16 Jul
Clipper Race Double Act: Family connections
Forging incredible bonds between complete strangers from all different walks of life The Clipper Race forges incredible bonds between complete strangers from all different walks of life and from all around the world. But sometimes the bond is already there before the race begins. Posted on 12 Jul
Two decades of environmental protection
Marina de Portimão has achieved 20 consecutive years of Blue Flag recognition As the first stopover in the Clipper 2019-20 Race, Marina de Portimão was a welcome respite, with its sparkling, clean waters and care and attention made to its natural surroundings. Posted on 4 Jul
Meet the Clipper Race crew: Terri Fisher
In just four days Terri went from Clipper Race fan to Clipper Race Crew Terri lives in the Northern Irish city of Derry-Londonderry and is affectionately known to her teammates as 'Terri From Derry'. Her road to joining the Clipper Race was a short one. Posted on 28 Jun
A sneak preview of Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
What the future Host Port Partner has in store for when the Clipper Race visits One Race Crew member got a sneak preview of what future Host Port Partner Ha Long Bay, Vietnam has in store for when the Clipper Race visits the city in spring 2023. Posted on 27 Jun
Anything but plain sailing through the Caribbean
The race from Panama through the Caribbean Sea is a far stretch from a holiday on the relaxed paced The race from Panama through the Caribbean Sea is a far stretch from a holiday on the relaxed paced, tropical islands the Clipper Race teams will traverse. Posted on 21 Jun