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5000 NAUTICAL MILES

Wed 16 October 2019

Consultant Plastic Surgeon Mr David Gateley completed his Clipper Round the World Race aboard Dare to Lead, arriving in Punta del Este, Uruguay at 15:06 local time on Sunday 13 October 2019. Sailing over 5000 nautical miles from Portimão in Portugal, the crew weathered extremes of conditions from the lull of the doldrums to Storm Lorenzo, and as Skipper Guy Waites said, can be truly proud of their achievement.

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CHARITY FUNDRAISING

Wed 9 October 2019

David Gateley is taking part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race to support two vital charities: UNICEF, the world's leading organisation working for children in danger, and Child Action Nepal, of which he is a Trustee, regularly visiting to provide teaching and surgery, to support orphanages in Nepal.

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WHALE TO STARBOARD

Wed 9 October 2019

22nd Day: We changed from Yankee Staysail to Spinnaker overnight as the wind continues to back. This results in a slightly flatter boat allowing safer movement around deck. The weather remains blue skies with some cloud with an occasional squall. Crew now beginning to calculate possible arrival dates, counting the days down and talking about that first drink and that first meal. As we near land we start to see more bird life of different variety and today a whale surfaced off our starboard beam beating his tale on the surface as he submerged: a spectacular sight that had all awake crew emerge on deck to witness. We have some unpredictable weather ahead sitting just outside Punta del Este including a wind hole and gusting winds up to 40 knots. Our crossing has to date averaged winds of up to 17 knots so this will prove a sporty end to the first leg race two.

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OCEAN SPRINT

Wed 9 October 2019

Having finished the ocean sprint with speeds increasing towards the end we are setting our sights on Punta del Este now in earnest. The sky remains blue and heatstroke a real concern still as we head south. Breaks down below essential to rest and re-hydrate during our watches. We continue on port tack and the wind is now backing onto our beam. Our sails trimmed accordingly we are averaging 11-12 knots which is very healthy. The spirit on the boat continues to be high with everyone pulling together. Our skipper Guy continues to guide us through long days and nights. The southern trades are consistent so no sail changes have been required for days. The bilges need to be regularly emptied as in all boats there are inevitable leaks. Sleeping due to the heat is patchy but we all close our eyes and dream of Punta.

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TRADE WINDS AND FLYING FISH

Wed 2 October 2019

'Hot out here, both on deck and below. Passed between Africa and the Canaries about 2 days ago. Now passing the Cape Verde group of islands. With the wind behind us, truly in the Trade Winds, all our sailing is with the spinnaker up. It has to be constantly trimmed to maximise performance. We take it in 30 minute stints as concentration is important. Night times are cooler and a welcome relief from the searing heat. We are constantly being visited by migratory birds that have been blown off course. The poor things land and wander round the deck, but sadly their journeys are over and eventually they are returned to the sea. More of a nuisance at night are flying fish. The first you know is they've hit you,. They smell and are not good to eat, so are thrown back."

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CELEBRATING 2nd PLACE

Wed 2 October 2019

After the 'interesting' weather off Cap Finistère (Dare to Lead's Skipper Guy Waites' choice of word!) the crew enjoy some R&R in marina before departing on the next race leg, writes David Gateley:

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PORTIMÃO, Portugal

Wed 2 October 2019

Nothing could have prepared us for the gale force winds we have just experienced over the last 5 days. We beat upwind with tide against us and though the skipper felt the conditions weren't too bad, none of us had sailed in such conditions before. The experience was all the more exciting because we were racing with much sail up.

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CLIPPER RACE - THE START

Wed 2 October 2019

Leaving ceremony: lots of excitement at St Katharine Docks. Good weather shone on us as we all left the docks to a fanfare of music and thousands of waving supporters. The Clipper fleet passed under Tower Bridge and then processed down the River Thames to Southend. Supporters in multiple boats followed us down the river circling around us as we went. A very happy send off for us all. At the Thames Barrier the supporter's boats turned round and we waved our last goodbye.

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AT SEA

Wed 4 September 2019

When first asked to keep watch at sea, I wondered what it was that I would watch. There was nothing but sea, nothing to see except sea. After a day or two of four hourly watches round the clock, I realised that there is just as much to see at sea as on land. It doesn’t all look the same, I just haven’t got my visual parameters yet, a bit like when I visited a bird sanctuary and the guy said he knew the swans individually. At a glance they all look identical, but slowly one learns to see the differences in the markings. So with the sea.

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LIFE AT SEA

Wed 4 September 2019

With the Clipper Race underway, I caught up with a sailor friend to find out what life at sea is really like. Here is that account.

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CLIPPER SET SAIL!

Wed 28 August 2019

Mr David Gateley, Consultant Plastic Surgeon, sets sail on his transatlantic challenge from St Katharine's Dock this Sunday 1 September 2019. Join the party for live entertainment, food, big screen, discovery zone and free events. Learn about life as race crew and watch the ceremony unfold as Tower Bridge opens for the boats to pass.

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CLIPPER ROUND THE WORLD YACHT RACE

Wed 14 August 2019

Mr David Gateley, one of the UK's leading plastic surgeons and co-owner of DRG Plastic Surgery, will be tackling an epic round the world sailing race to raise money for charity. Starting from St Katharine's Dock in London on 1 September 2019, he will join a crew of 60 people on the first leg of the race, a 7,250 mile passage from the UK to Uruguay, spending at least 33 days at sea on a 70 foot ocean racing yacht.

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