Newsletter January 2018

I did it! 

I did it! Bearded, bedraggled, thinner and completely chuffed, on 17th January 2018, I (along with the fabulous Team Nasdaq crew of 20) completed Leg 4 of the ‘Clipper Round the World Yacht Race’, a gruelling 6,000 nautical miles navigating the southern and eastern seaboards of Australia, in 3 separate races: 

Fremantle (Western Australia) to Sydney - 3000 NM over 14 days 

Sydney to Hobart - 730NM over 3 days 

Hobart to Airlie Beach (Queensland) - 2180NM over 12 days 

The ‘Clipper Race of Your Life’ proved challenging, insightful and rewarding in more ways than I imagined. 

We started in Fremantle with a fabulous (emotional) send off by friends and family on 2nd December a beautiful hot sunny day. 

On the way to Sydney we experienced, storm, calm and cold but like most of the race, looking back, the days and nights rolled into one and flew by. 

Christmas at Sydney meant boat cleaning and repairs, Christmas day was celebrated with a crew picnic in the park before an early night in preparation for the start of the next race on Boxing Day the ‘Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2017’, one of the most prestigious races in the world yachting calendar. Three days later racing against 114 other boats we arrived at Hobart having achieved 3rd place in the Clipper Class only to be knocked of the podium into 4th by a challenge – nevertheless an unexpected and very rewarding outcome! 

Hobart combined the arrival of the worlds yachting fraternity with a superb food, drink and music festival culminating on New Year’s Eve with a firework spectacular which many crew viewed from the deck of our home the good ship ‘Team Nasdaq’. 

5th January we were off again, destination Airlie Beach in Queensland. After the 3rd time traversing the Tasman Sea the wind picked up, head winds from the north meant we were smashing our way through the seas banging and crashing as she fell over the waves. Calm (like a mill pond) and thundery storms greeted us as we passed Brisbane but a change to southerlies really helped drive us on to Airlie, The clear night skies were spectacular, a dome of stars above us and the days when we could see a 360 degree level horizon. 

Amazing to see numerous dolphins, albatross and bioluminescence of sea life at night, we were lucky to see a pod of small whales (not sure species) in the Pacific. 

Great to arrive in the tropics a palpable sense of accomplishment, I actually did what I set out to do despite many reservations and times when I would have gladly given up. 

Back now to the luxury of home and the challenges of Impart links which James and our team have managed so well during my absence – thank you

Airlie Beach Jan 2018 - The departing crews having completed their Leg 4 challenges  

Would I do it again – probably not, maybe ocean racing is not for me. Will I sail again? Of course! It’s physical, tactical and hugely enjoyable, so I will be investigating day sailing / cruising for the future (anyone looking for crew?).

A BIG thanks to all for your support especially those who contributed to my ‘Just Giving’ Charity MNDA’ which raised £1335 for this very worthwhile cause. 

Without the support and backing of everybody around me it would have not been possible and far too easy to throw in the towel but knowing you were out there supporting following and egging me on made all this possible. 

A special thanks to my wife (Yvonne) who has lived with the influences of ‘Clipper’ since my first involvement in 2015 and to my team at Impart links who without their dedication, drive and professionalism, it would not have been possible. 

Where do I go from here? Any suggestions for my next adventure of a lifetime? 

If you would like to know more please contact me: 

Peter Dark - Impart links

Ph: 01275 343698