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As you may already know, Mandy Mitten is taking part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race later this year.

This global race is run every other year with up to 750 crew taking part!  Some do one leg of the race, others do a few, and about 40% of crew sign up for the whole world.  As the whole world takes 11 months to race around she won’t, of course, be doing the whole thing.

Mandy will be doing 2 legs, the first being non-stop to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from the UK.  This will take approximately 4-5 weeks, with the boat crew being split into two ‘watches’ on a 4 hour watch system.  It takes a great deal of time to do anything on a 45% angle, including getting out of a bunk safely when resting on the high side of the boat, so in reality, she won’t get more than 2.5 hours sleep on a 4 hour watch.  Worse still…. she’ll only able to shower once in ten days!

The challenge is very physical, burning up approximately 5,000 calories a day.  She’ll need to be strong to cope with the lifting, winching etc, as there are no electronic winches on board, and need good core stability to keep upright.  She will be doing everything from helming, winching, sail changes etc.  Cooking and cleaning is done on a strict rotation, and that day is viewed as a day off!  So the gym it is, in earnest, until she leaves.

Once in Rio, there is a short stopover of about 5-7 days, to do essential boat repairs, maintenance etc (all of which is done by the crew), take sponsors out on the boat, take on new provisions and hopefully a good night’s sleep or two.  They then set sail to Cape Town, which is a shorter leg of about 3-4 weeks.

In total, Mandy will be racing for 8,600 nautical miles.

There are 12 boats taking part in the race, with up to 20 crew on each one at any time.  Sponsors range from famous cities or ports, global brands, and sailing specialist companies.  The organisers spread the age, gender and ability of crew as evenly as possible amongst the boats, so it is pretty much Hobson’s choice which one you are allocated. So you can imagine how delighted she was to be picked for Team GREAT Britain!

Here’s a video tour of the actual boat which will be her home for a few months.

You can also click here to visit the Clipper website, in case you are tempted to sign up for 2017!


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