Norfolk graduate and retiree brave ocean in round the world race
- Credit: Clipper Ventures
A graduate student and a retired man from Norfolk are facing enormous ocean waves as they compete in a round the world sailing race.
Sophie Owles, a graduate zoologist from North Walsham, and David Howie, from Catfield, are currently somewhere in the north Pacific Ocean, taking part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
The event, which trains people from all walks of life to become ocean racers, was suspended in March 2020 after sailing halfway around the world.
But the race is again well under way, with a clipper race crew from East Anglia among those taking part in the sixth of the eight legs which form the global route.
Ms Owles previously competed in legs four and five on board the WTC Logistics, sailing from the west to the east coast of Australia, and then up through the tropics to Subic Bay in the Philippines.
Speaking from on board the yacht, she said: "To finally be back sailing feels absolutely wonderful.
"After a two-year wait to return to the race it was a great relief to finally return to the yachts and get back sailing with my crewmates.
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"We’ve already shared a few good laughs on board and I’m looking forward to the rest of the race."
The north Pacific is the world’s largest and most remote ocean. At times, the nearest humans to the Clipper Race fleet will be astronauts in the International Space Station.
Each of the eleven teams will face enormous waves and huge weather systems rolling through regularly. During previous races, crews have faced hurricane force 12 winds and waves of over 20 metres.
Ms Owles said: “I believe the north Pacific crossing will be the hardest for me, with quite a few challenges.
"Living in a relatively small space with 15 other people can itself be difficult at times, and as someone who suffers from seasickness I may struggle with that once the wind and swells get larger later in this leg."
She originally signed up for the event to have an adventure after graduating from university.
This race is expected to take a month, with Ms Owles, Mr Howie and the other sailors due to arrive in Seattle by the end of the month.