Clipper 13-14 Crew Allocation Day – Team Matt!

On the steps outside Guildhall - Crew Allocation Day

On the steps outside Guildhall – Crew Allocation Day

11th May 2013 – Clipper 13-14 Crew Allocation Day

This was a significant day in the whole adventure. We got to find out who our Skipper will be and who I’ll be sharing the Race of My Life with!

Some 400+ plus of the total 650 crew signed on for the 13-14 Race attended the day; some flying in from Australia, China, Singapore especially for the day.

The day was essentially split into two; a morning briefing for all the crew along with friends and families to bring us up to date on a variety of topics and an afternoon session in our crews with our skipper.



Morning Session:

This provided a variety of information for all the crew along with friends and families.

  • Clipper contacts and race team
  • Race route
  • Important dates for our diaries
  • Update on the preparation of the yachts delivered by Sir Robin Knox Johnston
  • Who our skipper will be
  • Who are team mates will be

Unfortunately some key facts most were keenly awaited were missing due to sponsors obligations. The most eagerly awaited of these was the location of the start – this will now be released on the 31st May. Team sponsors and hull number allocation will also be released later on dates agreed with by the various sponsors.

Route Update

Leg 1: Although the start location could not be confirmed (disappointingly), Clipper were able to confirm that Race 1 would be from the UK to Brest, and Race 2 from Brest to Recife, Brazil – I had to look it up on the map as well! Apparently it is called the Bazillian Venice. This leg will be shorter than originally planned as Recife is in Northern Brazil. However, this means that Leg 2 will be longer. Start 1st September, estimated finish late September.

Leg 2: Starting from Recfie, Brazil and finishing in Capetown, South Africa. Estimated start early October, estimated finish late October.

Leg 3: Starting from Cape Town and finishing in Western Australia; again disappointingly Clipper were not able to announce the exact location of the finish. Estimated start early November, estimated finish late November.

Key locations for the subsequent legs were also confirmed – Sydney, Singapore, Qingdao, San Francisco, Panama, Cozumel (Mexico), New York. Locations that won’t be being visited were also confirmed, Canada and New Zealand.

Sir Robin Knox Johnston

Sir Robin Knox Johnston

Yacht Update

Sir Robin Knox Johnston delivered both an inspiring speech about the challenges we will all face over the coming months along with an update on the progress of the build of the new yachts. In essence the delivery of the yachts is on track for the race start and there are only 3 hulls left to ship from China now.

All the issues with the hulls and their resin bonding have been rectified and additional issues identified with the rudders have also been resolved. Sir Robin himself has however condemned the bowsprits and these have been redesigned and are currently being replaced also.

As he put it, he will not allow the yachts to be signed-off as complete until he is perfectly happy with them! You can only believe him 100%!

Matt Mitchell Announcing His Crew

Matt Mitchell Announcing His Crew

Crew Allocation

The final part of the morning was the most exciting (I don’t do excited) – who our skipper is; and who are team mates are.

Our skipper will be Matt Mitchell. Whilst Matt is the youngest skipper in the race he certainly does not lack in experience.

Read Matt’s biography on Clipper’s website.

Afternoon Session:

The afternoon session was then dedicated to skipper and crew breakout sessions.

Here, after introductions, Matt set out his expectations and objectives for the race and got the crew to come up with a set of their own expectations and objectives. Matt also laid out his ‘Articles of Campaign’; basically the rules that we all abide by. Finally he briefed us on an number of important matters:

  • Proposed watch system,
  • Crew roles that need to be filled,
  • Organisation of stop overs,
  • Crew fund and how this will work,
  • Kit weight limits!

The crew then discussed ideas for the team building weekend scheduled for 3/4th August  – it won’t be sailing related and a short list of ‘boat songs’ was drawn up.

Clipper 13-14 Crew

Clipper 13-14 Crew

The day finished with photographs of all the skippers and crew and separate ones for each boat, followed by the first team bonding session in a local hostelry.

Additional photo’s from the day can be found in the GALLERY.





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My Clipper 13-14 Adventure