So the day had finally arrived! I felt a little sick and this time it wasn't due to a swaying deck. I was nervous about meeting my new crew. Would I like them? Would they like me? What if the Skipper was horrible (I can't imagine that really as Clipper are experts at recruiting but still…) I didn't really sleep that well. I kept dreaming that the boat was sinking or there was only me and I just couldn't tie a bowline knot for the life of me.
Still I shouldn't have worried. A few familiar faces gathered on the Guildhall steps, proudly wearing our red jackets, also nervous but soon the easy conversation of sailing started to flow. What leg are you doing? How much training have you done? A couple of coffee's in and it was like being back with the gang.
A press interview with the local paper and a few photos started the day proper. A briefing of route updates and information followed - Race start will be at St Katherine's Dock, London, which was met by much approval!
And then on to the main event - the announcement of each boats crews….. I didn't have to wait too long as my name came out in the first boat and the first batch of names. Team Pete! Peter Thornton is our skipper. I hadn't met him before but as soon as we sat down with our team I knew I trusted him and he would keep us safe. More importantly (!) we would have a competitive boat. We talked about our team ethos and the values we wanted to instil in the team. Respect, support and honesty all came up as well as a no blame culture. It was apparent we all wanted to do well and wanted to be pushed. We did an exercise where we closed our eyes and had to raise our hand to questions. We were allowed two answers. Do you want to be a competitive boat? Unanimous. Do you want to cruise across? None. Do you want to have some fun? Unanimous!
We are a mixed bunch, from a heart surgeon to university students, dentists, accountants, teachers, engineers and everything in between. We are a team of 55 determined individuals who have a good leader - there is nothing we can't do! I've sailed with a couple of the crew before, my good friends Andy and Charlotte, but most were new faces. Needless to say we bonded over a few drinks at the pub afterwards!
I can honestly say I think we have got the best team. I know I would say that but we are all committed, enthusiastic and determined to play our part to victory. We all want to be proud of our boat. We will do our best, whether that's 1st place or 12th. It will get 100% and therefore victory.
The day ended with crew photos with the skippers and Sir Robin. Everyone was pleased with their crew allocation. You could see it in their beaming smiles and the teams took shape.
Our boat sponsor is yet to be announced so watch this space. Some very exciting news could be coming soon!