The contract is signed and I have been told I am now an official Clipper 15-16 crew member. I have decided to keep it at legs 5 and 6. East Australia to Malaysia and China, then across the Northern Pacific to San Francisco. Now just a few details like paying the deposit and setting up the standing order. But then I received another email with a number of forms to complete. The crew biography questionnaire is the most interesting; whether I have special connections with the countries I will be visiting and where I have been at college/university. I suppose it is all for the media frenzy associated with the Clipper Race.
The insurance requirement was a surprise. I should have realised that my annual travel insurance would not cover ocean sailing let alone ocean racing. In fact it is explicitly excluded. Suppose it is easier to repatriate someone from a town than the middle of an ocean. The cost for each leg was a bit of a shock though. But better be sure than sorry….
The debates on the Clipper 15-16 Facebook page about dry-suits are ongoing. Should we invest £600 or not? There are two main reasons for getting one: for comfort, keeping dry and therefore warm and for safety in case I go for an involuntary swim. During the last race there was one man-over-board incident which ended well in part because of the dry-suit. My main reason would be to keep dry and warm. I hate the cold as it is drains strength and motivation.
So far I think there are two options. A outer dry-suit which replaces the outer-layer Clipper provides or a mid-layer which will go underneath the outer layer. A mid-layer is a little cheaper and can be used with other water sports such as canoeing, kite surfing etc so I may go for that.
Meanwhile the Level 1 training is booked for the 2nd week of October. I will start reading up on the Clipper manual and some other essential reading. Better get a head-start…..