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BEL-69 participating in the Clipper around the world Race

After a few months of preparation, our Belgian colleague Finn Sailor Mark Geboes (BEL-69) will finally start his "Clipper around the world" adventure @ Portsmouth, United Kingdom on September 3rd.

Mark will be participating with the "Ha Long Bay Viet Nam" Team. More information about his boat and crew can be found here.

The first leg will be Portsmouth, UK towards South America, a transit of approximate 7250 Nautical Miles and 33 days (!!) at sea. Pls find the full route map here.

Please join us in following the start live here.

On behalf of Finn Sailing Belgium, we wish him a safe journey and we're looking forward to receive his -hopefully regular- updates now and then!

Small report as received from Mark:

Right prep weeks

As in preparing the boat before the race start. In fact basically it all comes down to the same but the bigger the boat, the longer the distance the more work and time it involves. It’s much like rigging up your dinghy or race yacht for an inshore race only taking care of as much as possible details and to make sure you’re as self-sufficient as possible once you’re out there. I think we came up with a list of 158 items or jobs that needed to be done apart from ongoing courses for some of the crewmembers such as sail repair, engineering and bosun workshops. To give you an idea of some of the items we tackled. Obviously changing all the ropes, lines, halyards etc. once delivered by Marlow, replacing one of our fuel tanks since we discovered a crack in it, changing pipes for the heads, taking of all stanchions cica flexing them to prevent water ingress (everything to ensure you can sleep as comfortably as possible is absolutely vital), taking back the lee clothes from our bunks for repair, just as much as the beanbag our skipper and AQP (additional qualified person or first mate) will use to rest on deck. Apart from that it’s all about marginal gains, retaining the helm, putting on glow tape on winches and hatches just to make sure everybody is comfortable at night as well.

Our team rent a house for these three weeks and our daily routine looked a bit like your everyday onshore working week. We would meet up on the boat with a coffee at around 8 and have a briefing of which items were going to be tackled for the day, head off for the chandler shop that had two timeslots a day to get in all the material and equipment we needed and then basically have a nine to five day, finishing of with a beer either in “the castle” or back at the house. As from Friday afternoon we had the weekend off, from what I understand and in the meantime completely acknowledge to make sure at least skipper and aqp get some rest since after all in a few week time’s we’re actually will be getting on with our race. It’s sometimes dirty, smelly, a bit what tedious work but it’s all part of the once again marginal gains that hopefully will pay of during the race. But at the same time it has been great fun and involved a lot of laughs as we got to know each other better as well.

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