63-year-old, Peter, is
preparing to brave the extreme weather of the Southern Ocean and the North
Pacific to raise money for charity.
He’s taking an extended break
from his job and has spent nearly £20,000 to take part in intensive sail
training and two legs of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
Twelve yachts leave Liverpool on 20 August with their crews hoping to raise
£400,000 for children’s charity Unicef. More than 600 sailors are taking part –
either as "round the worlders” or "leggers”.
Peter, who works in Exeter, is a "legger” – taking part in 2 individual
legs – and sets sail next March.
He says: "I’m going from Qingdao in North China across the North Pacific
to Seattle in leg six of the Race, then joining leg seven from Seattle to New
York through the Panama Canal – a total of around 11,100 nautical miles.
"I have some trepidation about tackling the North Pacific and the Southern
Ocean. Sailing in those parts of the world is going to be challenging and
tough. There will be snow, ice, big seas and 22 people having to sharing a 70
foot boat for weeks on end with no real personal space. There are no luxuries,
like showers. It’s all quite basic.
"But it’s the realisation of a dream of a lifetime for me. I’ve always
wanted to sail an ocean and this will undoubtedly be an amazing experience.”
Peter’s always had a love of the water. He’s gone from surfing to sailing and
was a member of the BT Offshore Sailing Club in the Solent in the late 90's
where he gained his first sailing qualifications.
He works at Openreach offices in Commercial Road, Exeter, controlling teams of
Openreach engineers working across the South West on heavy cabling.
With his family now grown up, it’s his chance to realise his dreams.
"I’ll be 64 when I start the race,” he says. "It’s given me a bit of
a spur. A lot of people my age start to wind down. I’ve had to get fit to go on
this trip and I’m raising my game every week.”