World News – They are ordinary people making an extraordinary journey. A 68-year-old band teacher from Texas, a retired fire captain from California and a just-engaged construction contractor are among hundreds of competitors setting off Monday on the grueling Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
Water tornadoes, 80-foot waves and gale-force winds are just some of the wild weather hazards faced by the mostly amateur sailors during the year-long trip across the world’s most treacherous seas.
Each of the 12 teams contains a professional skipper to lead the identical 70-foot Clipper boats along the 40,000-nautical-mile route of the world’s longest ocean race.
However, 40 percent of those taking part — including the eight Americans — have no previous sailing experience and needed to undergo a rigorous training course over several weeks.
Two South African competitors had never even seen the sea before signing up to what organizers call “an endurance test like other.”
“After this,” they promise, “nothing will ever be the same.”
“It’s human will against nature,” said yachting legend Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who became the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-69.
He founded the Clipper race in order to open up the oceans to all walks of life.
“The easy choices in … continue reading
Via:: Costa Rican Times