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.”