Clipper Round the World Yacht Race – by Mike Holmes

Have you ever thought of quitting your job, buying a boat and sailing to exotic locations around the world? If you love being on the water as much as I do, I’m sure you’ve had these thoughts more than once. I’ve found myself in the fortunate enough position to be able to do something almost like that.

I started my sailing journey only two years ago, signing up for the package deal of ASA 101, 103 and 104 with Tradewinds. I really enjoyed the coursework, instructors and fellow classmates. My favorite course would have to be 104 Bareboat, nothing beats spending the night on the water.

Although I am somewhat new to sailing, I am no stranger to being on the water. I used to race 100mph race boats with the American Power Boat Association, I spent two months in the South Pacific on the California Maritime Academy’s T/S Golden Bear, and I worked two years as a professional deckhand on a 257’ megayacht, cruising the Caribbean, Mediterranean and crossing the Atlantic twice.

However, I find the most pleasure in sailing. It is technical, physically and mentally demanding, and is something that you can do with family and friends. Whether dinghy sailing, cruising in the Bay, buoy racing on a Wednesday night, or sailing offshore, there is always something to learn. I’ve always dreamt of crossing an ocean on a sailboat, and now that opportunity has presented itself.

Last year I decided it was time for a career change and some time off. Maybe this is an early mid-life crisis? I left a good job to go sailing on the other side of the world. I signed up for the 2019-2020 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, which takes amateurs with little or no sailing experience and trains them to be ocean racers. The race takes place from September 2019 to August 2020, starting and finishing at St. Kathrine’s dock in London. There are eleven teams in identical (one-design) 70’ racing yachts. Every ship has special Yacht Lettering illuminated for the race. Each is crewed by twenty amateur crew with a professional skipper and mate. The circumnavigation is broken into eight legs. I will be doing leg five, the Asia-Pacific Challenge, sailing 6,000+ nautical miles from Australia to China in January/February 2020.

Prior to the start of the race, crew have to complete four weeks of mandatory training in the United Kingdom. At the start of my third week of training I was in a new group and started talking to a man next to me. I couldn’t believe it when he said he was from California and it turned out he is on the same race team as me, WTC Logistics. Even more astounding is that he mentioned he learnt how to sail at Tradewinds! What are the odds of that!

Want to know more about my adventures? Follow along on my blog and don’t forget to subscribe to get the latest updates:

My continued journey in sailing would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the great staff and instructors at Tradewinds. I owe them for getting me hooked on sailing!

Fair winds and calm seas.

Mike Holmes

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3 Responses to Clipper Round the World Yacht Race – by Mike Holmes

  1. Very cool Mike! Amazing challenge and I am sure it will be an unforgettable experience.

  2. tony johnson says:

    How do I subscribe to your blog? The link took me to the Clipper site.

  3. TW-Matt says:

    Oops, that was my fault, I messed up the link – edited to include both now!

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