My first big boat sailing experience was from the Hamble River in Southampton many years ago when I was
a teenager. The Ocean Youth Club gave me the opportunity to sail on one of their fleet of 72' ketches, the "Samuel Whitbread", across the English Channel to Cherbourg. This time I will be sailing 3000 miles across the
A tea party rings a bell but I haven't been there yet. Boston is an industrial and commercial centre and is the capital of
Massachusetts, with a population of over 3,700,000. It is a publishing centre and has high technology (Route 128). Notable places include Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technolology and the John F
Kennedy library. The BT Global Challenge route will take us 6,600 miles down the coasts of North and South America, through the fickle winds of the Doldrums at the Equator and on to Buenos Aires.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
After facing the possible wrath of Cape Horn, I will be ready to salsa! Buenos Aires is an industrial city and the capital of Argentina. The
largest city in South America, it has a population of over 10,865,000. Founded in 1853, it was developed on a gridiron plan.
Wellington, New Zealand
visited NZ once before but in a comfortable Air New Zealand reclining seat and not via the Roaring Forties! Wellington is a very friendly city in the North Island with an infamously windy harbour entrance. I recall the
tale of the Wahini which foundered on the rocks there. Apart from being a port, it is an industrial city and the capital of NZ. It has a population of over 342,500. Founded in 1840 and has been the seat of
government since 1865. 'The beehive', because of its shape, is the name of the parliamentary assembly hall.
I visited Sydney in 1997
for my interview with Chay Blyth but had to leave the very day that the Challenge yachts were to arrive. The flags were up, the media were present and families were congregating, waiting for their sailors to reach dry
land once more. It's amazing to think that I'll be sailing in myself this time round! Sydney itself, is an industrial port and the capital of New South Wales, Australia, with a population of over 3,310,000. It has
a financial centre and three universities. Modern landmarks are the harbour bridge (single span 503m/1652ft) built in 1923-32, the Opera House, 1959-73, and Centre Point Tower, 1980. You can run up the stairs here for
some serious fitness training and be rewarded with a magnificent view of Darling Harbour from the top.
Cape Town, South Africa
This is somewhere I have always
wanted to visit although I never dreamt that I would spend 35 days or so sailing 6,200 miles across the ferocious Southern Ocean to get there. Nevertheless, Table Mountain here I come! Cape Town (Afrikaans
'Kaapstad') is a port and the oldest town of South Africa with a population of over 1,100,000. It is the legislative capital of the republic of South Africa and the capital of Cape Province and was founded
in 1652. Now to the penultimate leg! Once more across the equator and through the Doldrums, then a battle or two with the NE trades before crossing the Bay of Biscay to France.
La Rochelle, France
What better than a few days R & R in Charente-Maritime region of France to prepare for the quick dash home? This final leg is sure to involve some close tactical
racing and an exciting finish.
Party, rest, relax and then decide what comes after the Challenge!