Wanna be a rock star…?

When I signed up for the Clipper adventure of a lifetime, I hadn’t realised that the attention we’d get as crew would quite match that of being some kind of celebrity, but there we were, Friday afternoon cruising up the Thames. Ferries, cruisers, pedestrians casually strolling along the river and apartment dwellers all waving madly at the parade of yachts. St Katherine’s dock absolutely shrouded in people. And we hadn’t even started the race!

CV24 with boats on thames

CV24 Switzerland on the Thames. Photo credit: JD SS

We had departed Gosport earlier in the week, having practised the official parade that we’d do in the Thames, with markers in the Solent masquerading as Tower Bridge. Precise instructions as to our speed and boat distance between yachts, red Clipper jackets proudly worn – photographers in racing RIBs and even a helicopter. This was just the practise.

Parade of yachts. Photo credit: Peter Brumby

Parade of yachts. Photo credit: Peter Brumby

We rendezvoused off Southend Pier before starting our parade up the Thames. CV 24 aka “Switzerland” looking resplendent in her red livery, third in line behind an as yet unbranded Jamaica boat, just behind the Great Britain entry. Well, coming into Boris’ city, it was only right that she headed the pack.

CV24 coming into St Kats Aug 2013GB Boat

Through the Thames flood barrier, past the Greenwich observatory – we will always have one of our clocks on GMT – or actually since 1972, “UTC” Co-ordinated Universal Time. I feel a slight twinge of xenophobia creeping in – but noooo, I’m crewing the Swiss boat, traditionally neutral in these kind of discussions. I chastise myself appropriately 🙂

The image of Tower Bridge and the Tower of London on the horizon was stunning. An iconic sight, the Tower of London founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman conquest of England, a Royal Palace, a prison, an armoury, treasury, home of the Royal Mint, public record and the Crown Jewels. The bridge itself built between 1886–1894 is a combined bascule and suspension bridge. And all of that history and engineering prowess was overseeing our arrival in London.

Just awe inspiring.

CV24 Switzerland in front of Tower Bridge

CV24 Switzerland in front of Tower Bridge. Photo credit: Switzerland – Clipper Race Team

The world’s longest yacht race, and I am extremely proud to be a part of it.

Banner worlds longest yacht race

Rock star sailors make the BBC evening news.

bbc news icon

Crews gather for biggest yacht race

Yachts gather at London’s Tower Bridge ahead of the world’s longest yacht race.


6 thoughts on “Wanna be a rock star…?

    1. Jez NU and SAIC Global.....

      You ain’t seen nothing yet!
      Remember Chafe is your enemy and Alcohol is your friend!
      Fair winds

  1. Vanessa

    Am with you in thoughts and am eagerly reading every sentence you write! Thank you! You are a fabulous example!


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