Recruitment team hits the road

Jamaica continues to make good progress in the RORC Cowes to Madeira Race which set off from the Solent on Monday morning. They are in the leading pack of four yachts which are rounding Cape Finistere at the northwest tip of Spain. Puma Logic, the last of the five yachts in the race is still making her way through the Bay of Biscay having suffered some of the worst weather the skipper and crew have ever seen.

Unlike the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race the yachts are not a matched fleet and each carries a handicap rating. This means the first boat to cross the finish line will not necessarily be the winner – times must be adjusted according to the handicap system before the winner is finally declared.

Jamaica has approximately 800 of the 1480 miles still to race and the winds have reduced to 15-20 knots. The wind will swing to the north west in the next few hours and start to ease before the centre of the high pressure system passes over them early on Friday morning, which will make for light and fluky winds. You may spot Jamaica making a move to the west on the race tracker – this will allow them to come around the back of the centre of the high pressure system and pick up the strengthening winds before the rest of the yachts.

The winds are predicted to fill in from the south southwest during Friday afternoon, building again to 15-20 knots before swinging back to the west early on Saturday morning. This means they are generally on the beam, or allowing some fast downwind sailing – precisely what the Clipper 68 yachts are designed to do best.

Simon Bradley, who skippered Jamaica in the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race, is at the helm again for the race to Madeira and the second leg back to Cowes. He says, “Most of the crew are getting their sea legs now.” For the first two days the atrocious conditions meant most of the non-professional crew on board were badly affected by sea sickness. The forecast downwind conditions will allow the crew to settle more and enjoy some good, fast sailing.

These are the kind of conditions crew who have been accepted for the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race are preparing for as they embark on their Clipper Training. Part A Big Boat Sailing courses have been running since February on the Clipper 60s, and the first Part B course, Big Boat Racing, begins this weekend on Uniquely Singapore. Some of the crew were involved in the delivery back from Liverpool at the end of Clipper 07-08, but for most it will be the first experience of the boats that they will become so familiar with before Clipper 09-10 starts on the Humber on 13 September 2009.

Berths for Clipper 09-10 are available now and Crew Recruitment Manager David Cusworth is taking to the road again to meet potential crew. He will be in Yorkshire from 26-28 August, based in Leeds and visiting Hull and York as well. If you are ready to apply for the challenge of a lifetime you can contact him now on [email protected] to arrange an interview – or to find out more about what it takes to become a crew member.

The Clipper team is heading overseas in the coming months to meet potential crew in California and in Australia, with visits there planned for Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. Keep checking the news page for dates and more information on planned recruitment events.

Visit Clipper Round The World Yacht Race for more exciting updates.