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Posted Wed 21 August 2019

Fifteen days to go before the race begins in London! At this stage one is thinking about packing, what to bring, and keeping under the weight limit that is required per crew member, and then thinking through the daily events on board: the watch system, the evolutions of the sail changes and reefs that will be required and the speed with which we will need to do them as we are racing.

My emotions at the moment are a mixture of great excitement and nervousness in that I have never before sailed away from shore. I will be doing this for the first time on this event. The plan is to do a vlog or blog for our website two or three times a week, weather conditions and activities permitting. I am looking forward very much to keeping you all in touch with the Clipper experience.

Once we transit down the Channel, we head across the Bay of Biscay down towards the Spanish peninsula. We are docking in Portimão in Portugal for a few days and then from there we head off down towards Punta del Este in Uruguay. This is the first leg of Clipper Race which will eventually take 11 months to complete.

David Gateley, Consultant Plastic Surgeon, DRG Plastic Surgery

The English Channel is the world’s busiest shipping area and crossing it has been compared with crossing a busy motorway.

The Bay of Biscay has some of the Atlantic’s most ferocious weather with exceptionally high waves due to the steep shelving of the seabed.

Portimão on the south coast of Portugal, with its relatively calm sea and weather conditions, hosts many prestigious sailing events. A fig and almond growing region, it has a traditional morning market and excellent coffee and cake at Pastelaria Arade.

Catherine Cowen, Plastic Surgery Blogger