Are you doing the whole race?
Yes, from start to finish, fingers crossed!
Do you get seasick?
I have had my moments like everyone else. Strangely, for me, it seems to occur not
when the yacht is pounding up and down through big seas but when we change course and the yacht levels off onto a run. But then you don't want to know the really grim details, do you? Hopefully, after a few days at sea,
everyone will get their 'sea legs'.
How have you been preparing for the race?
1) The training sails on the 67' yachts used for the last race and one on the
72' prototype in the UK, mostly in freezing December; 2) dinghy sailing/racing in tropical Brunei; 3) fitness training – mostly swimming, walking/running and some weights; 4) mental preparation – lots of reading about
teamwork, motivation and dealing with conflict; 5) big boat sailing theory and practice – Coastal Skipper course by correspondence and the practical side in Phuket in Thailand.
What will you eat at sea?
For the first few days, there will be a lot of fresh food and vegetables. After that, as the yachts do not have conventional fridges, we will eat a lot of pasta and
rice dishes with ready-made sauces and meals with Smash potato. In really rough weather, we will eat boil-in-the-bag meals which require heating only. I've been told about freeze-dried food but I prefer to ignore that
for the moment!
What do you wear at sea?
In cold conditions, a thermal base layer next to the skin, then a middle layer (jacket and trousers),
then one of Musto's finest HPX Ocean suits. Good boots and a hat are also essential. Gloves are useful for periods of inactivity and mittens for helming. A harness and lifejacket complete the picture. In warmer
climes, I will be more than happy to get out my shorts, T-shirt and sunblock!
How will you get your clothes dry?
In the colder latitudes, it is
not really possible unless you sleep with damp things next to the skin. Whilst it sounds unpleasant, it does work and yes, I have tried it.
Are you looking for sponsors?
Very much so! The berth fees are just the start of it and I'm fundraising for charity too, so all offers of sponsorship are really welcome.
How can I find out the yachts' positions and race results? The maps will bring it all to life!
These will be updated several times daily on the official race website at
Will families be able to phone the yachts?
Again, it will be possible although calls will be screened as otherwise the yachts would be swamped. A certain amount of e-mail
will be received by the yachts although there will be some controls in place for this.
Will Crew Volunteers be able to see the other yachts when racing?
At the start, of course, but after that the answer is, possibly, but more often, not at all. However, crews will know where to look for other yachts as there are inter-yacht chat periods each day when positions
and progress can be compared.
What about your cats?
Sadly, there are no vacant positions for ship's cats and my search for a temporary
foster-home in Brunei for