Monday, December 11, 2023

My Clipper Race highlight? When the mast came down in 80 knot squall

Rio Hockey Olympian Hannah Macleod on high seas, tragedy and fulfillment when she took part in the 2017/18 round the world race

“Going into the wind, the boat’s at a 40 degree angle and you’re basically living on monkey bars,” reflects Rio golden girl Hannah Macleod on the several months she turned from hockey player to novice sailor four years ago. “You come out on deck at night, it’s 2am, clouds are out, moon covered, no stars, it’s pitch black. It feels like someone is hammering your head with a cricket bat with the way the boat hits the waves. You get thrown up with each one and you are trying to hold yourself down on deck for four hours.”

Macleod, who had never sailed, wanted to be taken out of her comfort zone. And, boy, did she receive the full package when she signed up for the 2017-18 edition of the Clipper Round the World Race, the endurance sailing event which trains up everyday folk to undertake an ocean crossing across six continents in a race which takes almost a whole year to complete.

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