Horsington parish councillor, diver, Glastonbury entrepreneur, pub quizzer, and now – sailor – MARK TUCKER is about to embark on a trans global adventure as part of the Great Britain Team in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
This is one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet. At 40,000 nautical miles long and taking almost a year to complete, it consists of twelve teams competing against each other on the world’s largest matched fleet of 70-foot ocean racing yachts.
There are 712 crew, representing 41 different nationalities. Crew can choose the entire race or one or more of its eight legs, but our Mark has signed up for the entire 11-month trip. He has been appointed a coxwain.
The Race sets sail on Sunday 20 August from Liverpool’s Albert Dock, and the route takes in Uruguay, South Africa, Australia, Tasmania, China, The USA, the Panama Canal and Ireland, returning to Liverpool in July 2018.
The Blog had an exclusive preview of Great Britain in dock at Gosport. It’s a spartan, cramped, comfortless sardine tin housing 22 people (half of whom will be on deck, so they will be “hot bunking”) with no privacy, alcohol, heating (or cooling). Take a good supply of wet wipes Mark, because there will be no showers until you reach port. Each leg takes between 4-6 weeks.
On deck, there’s precious little shelter. The sails, which must be constantly changed and trimmed according to conditions, weigh a ton. They also occupy a third of the accommodation below deck. The ropes are huge, the winches fearsome and the steel shrouds, which hold the rigging together, are bar-tight and would support a cable-car.
The whole machine will slice through the waves at about 14 knots, the speed of a cruising merchant ship. They will encounter extremes of everything – hot-cold, wind-calm, elation-depression, confidence-fear. They will become very, very tired. And smelly.
Mark has decided to support UNICEF, the Round the World Race official charity. He writes:
“In a few weeks’ time, I’ll be stepping onto a 70 foot racing yacht and won’t set foot again on UK soil for over 11 months and having covered 40,000 miles of ocean. It’s going to be awesome but it’s also going to be tough, it’s going to be cold and it’s going to be uncomfortable.
“Children around the world live their whole lives in much tougher, harsher and more uncomfortable environments however – UNICEF are working in the UK and around the globe to improve living, health and educational conditions and I’d be overjoyed if you’d find it in your hearts to make a small donation to help make someone’s life just a little easier.”
You can donate to Mark’s cause by visiting his “Just Giving” page
£850 has been raised so far. Come on Horsington! We have something and someone to be very proud of.
Note: money raised will go straight to the charity, Mark is funding his own expenses. Ed