Tag Archives: London

the end part 2

And so we have it, Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 2013-14 is over.

The journey up the Thames will forever last in my memory, it was incredible.

The joy of family and friends and crew seeing each other from the spectator boats.  Who is it?  Can you see them?  Oh wow!  There they are!

I thought that I would be really tearful and overwhelmed, but not so.  I was ready for the finish. I’d had a great time, for the most part.  I’d shed more tears in the last eleven months than probably in the last eleven years, especially so whilst in Den Helder.

So I was empty of tears and full of joy, elation, and thanks.  Thanks to wonderful family and friends.  Love and pride demonstrated like never before.  I knew for sure that I was cared about in a way that I’d never dreamed of.  I’d achieved something that few would even consider, let alone do.  Thanks to the amazing meeting of Lesley Roberts and Sue Knight in Kerala in 2011 I’d achieved something amazing.

And returning up the Thames could well have been a Canaletto piece or a scene from a 1690 pageant – no tall ships but still, twelve amazing racing yachts built more like Land Rovers than Ferrari type Volvo racers that had safely housed hundreds of amateur sailors.  We’d pushed them, challenged them, abused them and they’d still done a sterling job.

Coming up to Tower Bridge marked the end of the journey.  A spectacular journey it was.

Seeing Swiss flags and former crew was warming and hunting for family faces intense.  There they were, first Katherine, then William, and then, framed in the sunlight, Mum, with tears gently rolling down her cheeks, and Jean with a huge smile of her face.  And finally James, who had supported me around the world in port, from home.  You name it, he’d been there for me.  And Jean and mum and Lesley had sent cards with wise words; love and luck; fun and “special packages” to nearly all the stop overs.  I am a lucky woman.

Hands on the stern mooring line I concentrate.  Don’t want to muck up now, in front of thousands!  We don’t.  We’re moored.  Cameras clicking, crowds shouting, clapping, laughing.  The noise of relief, joy, excitement is overwhelming.  Yet still I am speechless.  I must be grinning like a mad woman.  I am so happy.

And then…the ’til now hidden bottles of fizz are revealed and we all tuck in – in our trusty plastic mugs (!) to varieties of fizz.

Team Switzerland is fifth out of twelve boats in the clipper round the world yacht race.  Our goal had always been to finish in the top half of the fleet, to end the race with smiles on our faces and we’d done that.  We had always done our best, everyone giving of themselves all that was possible at any given time.  When that came together, and the team did every bit of their best at the same time, it worked wonders and we earned podium positions.

Now was time to celebrate and enjoy the feeling of being superstars for the afternoon.  Seeing ourselves on the big screen was fun and our heads spun.  We’d all made great friends, experienced things way beyond our comfort zones of eleven months ago, laughed, cried, teased, baked, cleaned, sailed our socks off and lived like we’d never lived before.

The end!


The start of a new beginning!

life continues as normal for some

life continues as normal for some


The end is nigh part 1

Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it ~ Greg Anderson

Breakfast starts a little bit later than usual, some of us have been lucky enough to have an extra hour sleep before our big day begins. A yummy breakfast of bagels, cream cheese and smoked salmon. Well done Greg!

It is grey and slightly damp, light rain gently falling and Continue reading

How far we’ve come

Watching the awe, amazement, concern and excitement of new leggers shows us just how far we’ve come as individuals and a crew.

The predicted 60 knot winds just rolled in and out with new crew aghast at the size of the waves and the noise of the wind.

For those of us who ‘enjoyed’ the wrath of Mother Nature last leg, this was Continue reading


Just before leaving home we had celebrated Matthew’s 18th birthday.  On the way back to the car park we passed the Franz Weber toy store that the children just couldn’t resist visiting when they were younger. All a little giddy, we headed straight for the soft toy section. And then as we had our fill of ‘ooooo’ and ‘ahhhh’ Continue reading

London and Race Start

The atmosphere in London was incredible, thousands of people lined St Katherine docks and what seemed to be the whole length of the Thames.

The England 7’s squad joined the Great Britain boat and the competition for the fastest grinder.

rugby sevens player on harken

We had worked so hard as a team to get our boat ready for the first race. From resolving the leaking diesel engine Continue reading

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! Continue reading