It's difficult to combine adventure with a full time job, a long commute, a hefty mortgage and two sons. Over the last few years I have driven to Marrakesh and Istanbul, and twice competed in the Discover Syria Rally and was looking for something else that could be squashed into two or three weeks when a friend invited me to take part in yacht race to raise money for the Tall Ships Trust. Apart from a week in Minorca about 30 years ago, this was the first time I had sailed and, although it was November, the sun shone and we had a wonderful time racing around the Solent for two days - and we achieved a podium place. As chance had it, a few days later I read about Clipper and, on the strength of the previous weekend, decided to sign up. The whole race takes just about a year, my leg is a mere 17-20 days. And I am sure that, once I arrive in Cape Town I'll wish I was doing the whole thing.
I have completed around 4 weeks of practical training plus courses in navigation, radio, radar, first aid and sea survival. I have upped my presence at the gym and can now do press-ups and bounce a 10k medicine ball – before this the heaviest thing I lifted was my laptop. The race will be hard work – the sea doesn't bother me, but I do find the cold difficult to deal with, not to mention the total lack of privacy and no showers. Watching “Trawlermen” will give you a good idea of what it's like. So, I am focusing on arriving in Cape Town, having seen whales and albatross, having lost a few kilos, having completed the race and, with luck, achieving a decent place – and also having raised some money for the RNLI. Choosing the RNLI isn't really self-interest as they don't cover the south Atlantic… I chose this as my charity as it receives no government funding and demands exceptional bravery and commitment from its volunteers. If you would like to donate you can do so by going to www.justgiving.com\janet-webberley
How about you? If I've helped you feel inspired to do something out of the ordinary and join a small club of people who've taken part in a sailing race around the world log onto www.clipperroundtheworld.com and ask for the 2013-14 brochure.