An Amazing Second Place in Race One - Teamwork, Team Spirit and First Class Leadership

After a week at sea Dare to Lead arrived in Portimão in second place in the first race of the 2019-20 Clipper Round the World race.

Although conditions were rough just after setting off, and as skipper Guy Waites commented “the last day felt like a week” the crew were in good spirits on their arrival.

We’ll be getting their thoughts later in the week as they have a chancer to recover and reflect on their initiation to ocean racing.

In the meantime you can see their arrival in Portimão and the thoughts of their skipper in the videos below/

How Do You Work This Thing?

One of my favourite things about the Clipper round the World race is that anyone can do it, and the crew have a wide range of abilities from salty old seadogs to complete novices. The same applies to the race supporters and while we can follow the position of the boats on the Clipper Race Viewer or on Marine Traffic, some explanation is needed for the non-sailors. 

Over on the DtL supporters Facebook pagewe have some real experts who have taken the time to explain what is really going on. Louis Andors, who will be with us on Legs 7 and 8 has just explained about all the zigging and zagging, and Joe Schamuhn, who will be sailing Leg 6 on WTC Logistics, updates us about changing winds. 

A huge part of our Dare to Lead ethos is about encouraging the kind of leadership that enables others to reach their full potential (as opposed to charging off ahead without looking back). In this case it involves helping everyone else appreciate the skill and courage involved in the race as much as the ‘experts’ do.  


Breaking the Golden Rule

As we were sitting on the tube yesterday at the end of an exciting and emotional day I noticed an elderly gentleman opposite taking an interest in us. His shirt had a yacht on and although the logo was partially covered by a bag it looked like “…per 96.”

Curious, I decided to break the two golden rules of London Underground travel (avoid eye contact and don’t speak to strangers) and ask him about his interest in us

Ian was a retired accountant who had taken part in the very first Clipper race in 1996, in the days before sponsorship and when the boats were named after tea clippers. More than that, he was a circumnavigator.

I’ve asked him to get in touch and if he does I’ll be fascinated to learn about the changes between 1996 and 2019. Not just the boats and the equipment, but also what motivates people to join.

In Ian’s case he’d spent most of his working life sitting on his backside and wanted to do something that was more of a challenge. “Was it a life changing experience?” I asked. “Not really” he replied, “I’d always had a taste for that kind of thing and I still do.”

Chinese Entrepreneur Dares to Lead

London, UK - 29 August 2019: A Chinese entrepreneur and her British ‘rocket scientist’ husband are embarking on a unique global campaign to build stronger cultural partnerships and commercial opportunities between Europe and China.

于海玲 Hailing Yu and Tim Harper have a unique combination of skills and experiences in both Europe and China working in new technology markets. They are aware of the potential cultural misunderstandings that can occur and support Chinese hi-tech companies to develop European collaborations.

This week marks the launch of their team in the famous Clipper Round the World Yacht Race which leaves London this Sunday 1 September 2019 bound for three Chinese ports of call in an 11-month, 40,000 nautical mile circumnavigation of the planet.

The team is not named after a company, city or country, but a concept: Dare to Lead! It is based on an ethos of multicultural teamwork, determination and leadership and its international crew consists of amateur sailors from all walks of life, ages and occupations.

于海玲 Hailing Yu said: “By becoming a Team Partner of Dare to Lead we can demonstrate how better cultural understanding, teamwork, determination and leadership leads to success, not only in sport, but also in business. Our experience of working in the hi-tech sectors in Europe and China places us in a unique position to support Chinese companies aiming to build European trade and partnership opportunities with a high confidence of success.”

Dare to Lead will carry this message to its three Chinese ports of call in Sanya, Zhuhai and Qingdao where 于海玲 Hailing Yu will meet with Chinese hi-tech companies and prospective partners.

In addressing the Dare to Lead skipper and crew at the naming ceremony in London Tim Harper congratulated their team spirit. He said: “You are an inspirational example of how courage, vision, leadership and teamwork can overcome any obstacle, of how a group of people working as a team can exceed their wildest expectations, and achieve goals that a collection of individuals could never aspire to. And that gives us, here on dry land, the courage and inspiration to rise to these global challenges.”

Harper stressed: “If I've learned one thing from my time, first at the European Space Agency designing missions to planets and comets, or my subsequent career as a technology entrepreneur, it is that without a top class and well-functioning team the only possible result is failure.”

于海玲 Hailing Yu added: “China already dares to lead and has shown great initiative in developing its economy and world trade through its Belt and Road initiative. We aim to travel the hi-tech Silk Road to build on the positive environment for international business that has already been created by the Chinese government.

“I have learned from past experience that while people may be from different cultures we can be united by common values which often embrace the universal human desire for harmony in our work and family lives.”

The 2019-20 series of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the twelfth edition of the unique biennial global event which trains novices from all walks of life, ages and nationalities to become seasoned ocean sailors, taking on the most challenging oceans on the planet in a fleet of identical 70 foot yachts. The race route takes in Portugal, Uruguay, South Africa, Australia, China, The Philippines, United States, Bermuda and Northern Ireland before returning to London almost a year later in August 2020.



The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is pleased to announce Dare To Lead will be returning as a Team Partner in the 2019-20 edition of the race. It has also been revealed that the Skipper of Dare To Lead will be experienced yachtsman Guy Waites from Yorkshire, UK.

Like the Clipper Race, leadership and inspiration is at the heart of the Dare To Lead ethos. Rather than sail under the banner of a particular organisation or geographical location, Dare To Lead will fly the flag of teamwork, determination, innovation, and leadership as its branded 70-foot ocean racing yacht energises crew, family and friends and corporate sponsors alike as it races around the world.

Following a focus on Africa in the last race and a continued interest in Corporate Social Responsibility via its Rainbow programme, this Clipper Race campaign will not only consider its heritage, but focus on the future. With joint partners Tim and Hailing Harper, Dare To Lead will work with Chinese corporates with a particular interest in Europe to promote its themes of leadership and entrepreneurship.

Dare To Lead Founder, Dirk van Daele, said: “We recognise that in each individual lies the potential to achieve greatness, and they believe that the crew who have the courage to join a round-the-world yachting adventure have the potential to be successful and become leaders in their own right, while at the same time engaging companies on the same basis, and I am particularly excited in scaling into China with my new partners.” 

Tim Harper commented: “If I've learned one thing from my time first at the European Space Agency designing missions to planets and comets, or my subsequent career as a technology entrepreneur, it is that without a top class and well functioning team the only possible result is failure.” 

While looking forward to the stopovers in China, Hailing Harper added: “The ability to achieve challenging goals when working across geographical and cultural boundaries is what makes both our businesses and the Clipper Race so special. The Clipper Race is also a fantastic opportunity for our Chinese corporate partners to engage with new global markets and for other corporate partners to connect with the Chinese audience as the race sails to Sanya, Zhuhai and Qingdao.”

Skipper Guy Waites will front a diverse group of men and women in Dare To Lead. The crew are aged between 18 and 74, represent 15 different nationalities, and come from a number of walks of life, including a doctor, real estate agent, banker, geologist, and a retired soldier.

Guy said: “As if leading a team of extraordinary individuals in The Clipper Round The World Yacht Race wasn't inspiring enough, I am delighted to be partnered with the Dare To Lead mission. 

“I raced halfway round the world as a mate during the 2017-18 edition of the race so saw first hand the positive impact Dare To Lead had as a Team Partner in promoting leadership and teamwork. Over the next year, together we will venture out to new horizons with a perfect synergy of Team and Partner; join us as we ‘Dare to Lead’.”

Dare to Lead being prepared in Gosport

Dare to Lead being prepared in Gosport

You can read the full details here