Prior Planning & Preparation
One thing we all know about the sea is that once out there, we are at the mercy of the weather whatever it decides to do. With modern weather routing and forecasting, we will though always have a very good idea of what is ahead of us even when we are many thousands of miles from land allowing us to prepare ahead of time whether that might be by altering course, heaving to or simply preparing our equipment accordingly. But there is no denying it; when mother nature decides to put on a show you want to be sure you have the right clothing to hand, have the right crew with you to rely on, know what to do in an emergency and you must have a boat you know can take a blow.
They say in a lifetime of sailing a prudent sailor will experience normal, middle of the road conditions 80% of the time, strong weather 10% of the time and be becalmed for the rest of it. After 315,000 Nm at sea, CSM reports that this is pretty much the case. What this means for our events is that in a ten-day trip we would normally be expecting one rough and windy day, one day with almost no wind and the remainder of the trip to be average wind conditions which for us is anything between 10 and 25 kts. We will, however, be always prepared for any eventuality.
The Right Boat
One area where our boats really shine is safety in heavy weather. Our Whitbread 60’s are constructed to the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) commercial standards for an ocean-going vessel, as per the original Whitbread Race Rules. They are made of Kevlar containing a foam core which means the boats have huge buoyancy reserves even in the unlikely case of flooding. Plus, these boats feature at least four watertight compartments able to be pumped independently. Our IMOCA Open 60 is also made of a foam-cored composite- this time carbon fibre and while lighter it is still is equally safe as has been proven already three times for our boat passing unscathed through the Southern Ocean. The Open 60 has five watertight compartments and has already completed ‘roll-over’ testing to comply with the strict safety guidelines of the Open 60 Class.
These features, this strength of construction and this attention to detail when it comes to safety is part of our boats due to their impeccable pedigree as Round the World Racers, you will not find this quality of construction on any production charter boat.
The Right Team
There is only one group of people who know what lies over the horizon; those who have been there. Spartan Ocean Racing skippers have all captained Round the World Race boats before they ever set foot on our vessels.
After professional careers on the water of not less than 50,000Nm and after completing the qualification of RYA/MCA Commercially Endorsed Oceanmaster each of our skippers was picked from hundreds of other potentials to captain a 68/70ft Clipper Yacht in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
Clipper Venture’s selection process is drawn out and includes extensive interviews, practical sailing & problem-solving assessments and then a long period of months under assessment out on the water providing sail training tuition to amateur crews. Only after all of that does Clipper makes its choice about who will skipper the actual race boats.
This is the quality of captain we feel is qualified to take our vessels to sea and keep you safe- anything less than that and surely our crews are merely helping aspiring skippers gain more sea miles.