Our trip to South Africa

During my level one Clipper Race training back in May 2016 we realised I was the only one of the group who would not be sailing in or out of Cape Town. So I made a promise that I would fly in to see everyone. As keeping my word is a forte of mine flights were booked, accommodation arranged at Jakes and Caroline’s house in Cape Town and off we went.

It was an amazing trip. We had a list of everything we wanted to do, which we did and more, it meant averaging about 5 hours sleep a night but was worth it.

Having arrived 3 to 4 days before we anticipated the GREAT Britain boat crossing the finishing line we commenced our sight seeing activities first. Guy had never visited South Africa and I had seen little of Cape Town. Firstly we familiarised ourselves with the V&A Waterfront, the marina where the Clipper Race yachts would moor and the fabulous cafes, restaurants and bars. Jakes kindly gave us Doris (land rover) to tour round the Cape of Good Hope. Wow – stunning and an incredible tour, the scenery, wildlife and fun that Guy and I had made it one of my biggest highlights of the trip. We also went up table mountain and signal hill, went out sailing on a catamaran  and suffered a day long wine tasting tour!

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It was great to see some of the other Clipper Race friends I had made come in on other boats – from Nasdaq, Hotel Planner, Qingdao and Dare to Lead. We were pleased to be able to welcome them all in. The night Great Britain came in was my other big highlight. To welcome my team in was very special – they had just crossed 3600nm across the South Atlantic, face book live was good but to actually be on the dock was incredible. We screamed and cheered then joined in the celebrations as they moored up with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston welcoming each and everyone. It was so good to be able to welcome them in myself and hug them all.

Once our boat was in I was keen to help, though we missed the deep clean we did assist with maintenance. Guy was made very welcome on the boat and the team quickly got to know him, that’s the type of culture we have on the GREAT Britain boat. I also took a lot of photos for our social media pages.

Cape Town was amazing, a short trip for us but would not have missed it for anything, the people, food and South African wine were amazing. The best of luck to all the teams for leg 3 across the Southern Ocean especially to GREAT Britain and to our wonderful host Jakes. who is crossing the Southern Ocean on Qingdao.

Next time I see the fleet is in New York next June when I join the race to cross the North Atlantic back to the UK.

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Our wonderful hosts made the trip even more outstanding.

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