Browsing Archive: September, 2009

La Rochelle to Rio – Leg 1, Race 2 – 29th Sept

Posted by Della Parsons on Wednesday, September 30, 2009,
Tuesday 29th
Apart from the excellent jape by starboard watch, last night was very frustrating.  We had the light-weight spinnaker up and the main sail but had so little wind that it was all over the place.  The guys on the helm had to use the gentlest of touches on the wheel and even the really experienced guys struggled to keep the sail filled.  In the end we took the mainsail down. It might not have helped much with our speed but it stopped the main flapping relentlessly with constant painf...
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La Rochelle to Rio – Leg 1, Race 2 – 28th Sept

Posted by Della Parsons on Wednesday, September 30, 2009,
Monday  28th – The winds have gone very light and it's getting increasingly difficult for the people on the helm to keep the kite (spinnaker) flying.  Meanwhile Australia have closed the gap on us a bit and Finland appear still to be much further back but have veered off sharply to the east. It looks as though they are way-behind but I'm nervous that Eero their Skipper, might be pulling of a master-stroke of tactics – we shall see!

Each day now is getting hotter and hotter and from now on ...
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La Rochelle to Rio – Leg 1, Race 2 – 27th Sept

Posted by Della Parsons on Wednesday, September 30, 2009,
Sunday 27th – we're still in the lead  yippeee! The Medium weight spinnaker got ripped on the shrouds as it was being taken down so what was going to be my off watch this afternoon then became repairing spinnaker time again - Boooo!!!  Apart from the sewing machine still being in therapy and therefore requiring counselling throughout the whole process – on the whole it was easier than the previous time and the repairs were carried out without too much pain – or distress to the  aforemen...
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La Rochelle to Rio – Leg 1, Race 2 – 26th Sept

Posted by Della Parsons on Wednesday, September 30, 2009,
Saturday 26th - Today started off as Cleaning day – and that's how it continued. During our morning watch we did our pretty much daily routine of sluicing buckets of sea water down the decks and giving the whole area a jolly good scrub – mainly to get rid of remnants of spilled tea, coffee and the various meals and snacks we've consumed on deck. (As long as it's dry, pretty well all of our eating is done up on deck).  Jeremy from the other watch then appeared with towel, shampoo and showe...
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La Rochelle to Rio – Leg 1, Race 2 – 25th Sept

Posted by Della Parsons on Wednesday, September 30, 2009,
Friday 25th Mother-watch

Today brought my first Mother-watch of the race. Everyone on board takes it in turns to be “mother”. One person from each watch spends all day doing the cooking and cleaning for everyone on board.  The upside of this is that you get a full nights sleep either before or after your mother-watch and the downside is that you are basically everyone's slave for a day!  Having said that it's one of the most important roles on the boat and one of the areas where a little e...
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Race 2 - La Rochelle to Rio de Janeiro

Posted by Della Parsons on Sunday, September 27, 2009,
22nd September - 24th September

Up at 4.30 am this morning.  Yes – that's 4.30 as in nearly the middle of the night!!!  This Yacht racing malarky is definitely no cruise you know!  Actually once you're up it really isn't too bad after all and there was a great buzz around the marina as all the boats came alive with crew rigging sails, doing final checks to make sure everything was in place and their boat name was correct and intact (there had been an awful lot of practical jokes and pranks b...
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La Rochelle

Posted by Della Parsons on Sunday, September 27, 2009,
17th - 21st September

The week (6 days) in La Rochelle seemed to whizz by.  There were plenty of things to be done on the boat in terms of on-going jobs, safety checks of all the standing rigging and mast and lifejackets etc – which have to be done every time we stop – and also once a week while we're on the move too – and fixes of things that we've noticed don't work.

The first day in port was taken up mainly with the deep clean – which entails getting all the sails up on deck, getting...
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Race 1 - Hull to La Rochelle

Posted by Della Parsons on Sunday, September 27, 2009,
14th - 16th September

Having got off to a fairly poor start the mood on board was a bit subdued and I think that rather than being pumped up and ready top start racing the majority of us on board felt tired and not on the ball at all. For most of us it had been a long build up to the race start – many people giving up jobs, leaving behind families, struggling to find the finances for the trip – and now after all that effort we had finally left.  It was almost as though we'd reached the top...
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13th September – Race Start Day!

Posted by Della Parsons on Monday, September 21, 2009,
 Finally it's here! Everything I've been working towards and eating, sleeping and breathing for the last 15 months. This was the day I'd been looking forward to. This was also the day my friends and family had been looking forward to. Finally I'd be gone and they wouldn't have to be force-fed 'Clipper Race' any more! Now it was here though they changed tack completely and were waving me off to promises of following everystep through both Clipperroundtheworld.com and Dellaroundtheworld.com web...
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The Final Countdown!

Posted by Della Parsons on Monday, September 21, 2009,
 4th – 12 September

After a weekend of great celebrations in Grimsby over the weekend – during which the students from the Grimsby Institute had given all the crews the most amazing welcome with an evening of international food, and fabulous entertainment – all produced and performed by the highly talented group of youngsters from the college – we finally motored across the river to Hull Marina where we would spend our final week of preparation before the Race start on Sunday 13th.

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Leaving Gosport & The Pilgrim Race

Posted by Della Parsons on Monday, September 21, 2009,
 

31st August - 4th September

Finally Monday 31st August was upon us. The day the fleet would be leaving it's home in Clarence Dock Marina, Gosport for Grimsby and eventually Hull – host port of the race.

We were all excited especially as for the first time there was to be a big public ceremony to mark the departure of the yachts. It was a beautifully warm, sunny day, and the yachts, all primped and preened showing off their official sponsor banners, seemed to bristle with pride as they ...


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Prep Week

Posted by Della Parsons on Friday, September 11, 2009,
Sunday 26th August was the final day of the C4 training.  We went to the Pump House for a big breakfast as normal, did the post training briefings with Piers the skipper, as normal and had done the deep clean of the boat as normal.  However that's where the normality ceased.  Half of the crew packed up their belongings and went back to their homes and jobs and the other half of us stayed.  That's when it hit us.  This was it.  This really was our home for the next 11 months.  We looked around...
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C4 - Final training week 16th - 23rd August

Posted by Della Parsons on Sunday, September 6, 2009,
 After a few days with my Mum, a visit to see my brother Laurence (known as Fred), his wife Ali and my nephews – Andrew ( No.1) and Michael (No.2) during which Fred produced the biggest map of the world you've ever seen, mounted on a board ready so that they could plot our progress – I left Swindon with Mum and a car full of my kit to travel down to Gosport to join the yacht ready for part C4 of my training. This time however I would be moving onto the yacht for good – well for the next...

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Leaving Home!

Posted by Della Parsons on Sunday, September 6, 2009,
 

Well it's been a while since I've had time to update this – it's been a pretty hectic couple of months since crew allocation. The Clipper Ball took up every waking hour for months on end (I feel compelled to write about that whole experience separately when I'm recovered enough to live through it all again!), I've been trying to tie up loose ends at work and leave things reasonably in order, for the poor chap taking over from me. There's also been the car to sell, the house to finish (a...


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