Uninformed Comment

A useful send-off

Posted in Geography, Grammar & usage, Humour, In the news by uninformedcomment on September 16, 2009

ClipperH&H

I’ve been taking an abnormal amount of interest in the Clipper round-the-world yacht race, even to the extent of tracking its progress online.  There’s something romantic about the idea of a bunch of amateurs (under expert tutelage) huddled on a yacht, heading out into the wild seas for months, travelling to all sorts of romantic destinations.

It started rather ignominiously when the 10 boats, who were competing in a kind of practice race up the east coast of England from Portsmouth to Grimsby, were overwhelmed by the weather and had to pull into Lowestoft harbour to shelter.  Um, guys, this is inshore England, you know; it gets a lot rougher out there.  To be fair, they were a green crew, and, to the point, not as green as me, so it’s not my place to chuckle.  Really, it’s not.

ClipperH&H2

The country of England (UK) is represented by the vessel Hull & Humber (pictured above, twice), a 20m Logoclad yacht that has a crew of 52 people aged 18 to 61.  That’s one person per week for a year, or, to put it another way, 4×13, or the square root of 2,704.   An astoninshing number to be so cramped for so long.  I’m not sure why they’re all sitting along the edge in that second picture, but I hope they’re allowed to get up and use the rest of the yacht from time to time.  It’s a long trip.

You can track the race on line using the AIS tracker I’ve talked about before here, or perhaps better on the race’s own “Race Viewer“, which seems to get more location and course information than available on AIS:

ClipperMap

This image from the "Race Viewer" shows the yachts approaching La Rochelle, on the west coast of France, the first destination of the round-the-world race.

Of course, I’m not writing this simply to report the beginning of a race.  Others can do that much better.  I’m simply here to bring you a lovely quote, from the skipper, Piers Dudin, which I read on the This Is Grimsby website.

Clipper Quote

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