Vince hopes he can find his sealegs for challenging round the world yacht race

Imagine your Korea yacht

Vince Pearson will be one of the amateur crew aboard the boat 'Imagine your Korea' in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Credit: Clipper Race

He's barely been on a boat and has no idea if he has any sealegs, but soon Norfolk's Vince Pearson will be clipping in and hauling sails in one of the biggest yacht races in the world. 

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is one of the greatest nautical challenges, involving amateur crews circumnavigating the globe in 11 specially-designed identical yachts. 

There is a professional skipper and mate with each 70ft boat, but otherwise the crew is ordinary people seeking an extraordinary adventure. 

Vince Pearson

Vince Pearson will be taking part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race to raise money for mental health via the Norfolk Community Foundation and for the hospitality industry charity Springboard - Credit: Clipper Race

Vince is joining the final two legs of the race, setting off this month from Seattle for Bermuda and then New York via the Panama Canal. The final leg is across the Atlantic Ocean to Londonderry and then ultimately London at the end of July. 

Formerly co-owner of The Last Wine Bar in Norwich, and in the catering industry before that, Vince, who lives in Norwich,  says joining the race crew is all about doing a challenge while he can - and raising money for charity at the same time. 

Map of the route to be taken on the Clipper Race

Vince is joining the final two legs of the race, setting off this month from Seattle and finishing in London at the end of July - Credit: Archant

Now 62, he is not only excited, and nervous, but is finding the preparations demanding in every sense, not helped by missing a recent training week because he had Covid. 

"I do feel really quite emotional," he says, adding that it is such a huge challenge. It is focusing his mind not only on charity fundraising but looking at his career as a catering businessman, his immense love for his family and how he still feels the drive to achieve something out of his ordinary. 

"You do look at what you've done, and who you are, and why you want to do something like this," he says. 

Bell Harbor Marina in Seattle

Bell Harbor Marina in Seattle, where Vince will sail from later this month - Credit: Port of Seattle

Vince has set up a Sail 4 Recovery fundraiser to raise money for mental health via the Norfolk Community Foundation and for the hospitality industry charity Springboard. Both causes are very close to his heart. 

Most Read

He explains that he, and one of his family members, have both reached out in recent years for mental health support, while catering is an industry he loves. 

"The hospitality industry has given me a fantastic career over 40 years and I want to help with the challenges that hospitality is facing," he says. 

He hopes to raise £15,000 with his mammoth sail followed by a golf team event at Barnham Broom Golf and Country Club on September 1, 2023.  

He will be aboard the boat 'Imagine your Korea' for about three months, anticipating a mixture of weather on his route.  He should have been joining two years ago, but the race was adjourned in the Phillipines when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. 

"I am a non-sailor and this race is ideal for people like me who want to be taken out of their comfort zone," he said. Vince added that he'd had about four weeks training, had been building up his upper body strength and knew he had a lot to learn. 

"I am nervous. I want to make sure I am a competent member of the team and I am nervous of the impact on your body and the lack of personal space.  

"I am excited. I spent nearly 40 years in business, you spend so much of your life planning ahead, and trying to work stuff out and so the whole notion of just living totally in the moment has not been a big feature of my life, and now it will be nice to live hour by hour." 

Vince has always loved adventure, and while he's worked in many different conditions in catering, including as an army officer, he knows crewing in a sailing race will be completely different. 

There will be huge waves, endless days without a spot of land in sight, strong winds and sometimes no wind, biting cold, odd currents, driving rain and burning sunshine.  

Crew on a former Clipper Round the World race

Durign the challenge, Vince will be faced with huge waves, endless days without a spot of land in sight, strong winds and sometimes no wind, biting cold, odd currents, driving rain and burning sunshine - Credit: Clipper Race

Living conditions are cramped on the 70ft yachts, which means minimal luggage with only three complete sets of clothes, plus hot-bunking so those on shift hand their bunks over to those off shift.  

He's relishing the challenge though, knowing it appeals to his competitive nature. 

It’s not a sightseeing jaunt around the world. He and his wife Lynda have decided to keep contact to a minimum while he’s away so he can concentrate on the race.

“We will be racing and the physical and mental challenge will need all my focus,” he says. 

He is hoping to update a blog while away - depending on his sealegs. Support his fundraising and find out more at https://justgiving.com/campaign/Sail4Recovery 

Meet the sponsors

DACS

The team at DACS Design is proud to be part of Vince Pearson’s Sail4Recovery adventure, supporting him with creative design and branding for his charity.

DACS is a forward-thinking, dynamic creative agency providing solutions to corporate, educational and charity clients, helping them meet their objectives and raising their visual profiles to the wider audience.

DACS' motto is 'Delivering the Difference’.

Tel: 01603 716516. Email: info@dacsdesign.com

Litmus Partnership

Litmus Partnership is proud to be supporting its non-executive director, Vince Pearson, and his Clipper challenge. 

Litmus Partnership has never been a business to shy away from a challenge and embrace taking on all sorts of facilities management and catering projects, but this is a first for one of its team.

It's pleased to be helping raise funds for hospitality industry charity Springboard and Norfolk Community Foundation. 

The team wishes the best of luck to everyone taking part! 

Norfolk Community Foundation

Norfolk Community Foundation is a local charity dedicated to building stronger communities and improving the lives of people in Norfolk. 

It helps provide funding and support to over 2,000 small charitable groups making a difference in local communities, from supporting young people’s mental health to tackling food insecurity.

Dardan Security

Dardan Security is the largest privately-owned total security solutions provider in East Anglia. It combines the best in technology and physical guarding to protect businesses' reputations.

Its exposure to companies with diverse and challenging requirements has given it valuable experience and the ability to design cost-effective and innovative solutions.

Charles Stanley

Charles Stanley is one of the UK's leading wealth management firms. Its focus on clients has endured since the foundation of Charles Stanley in 1792.

Working with individuals, charities, institutions and professional advisers, Charles Stanley has created financial security for many tens of thousands of people.

Springboard

Springboard’s mission is to futureproof the talent pipeline for hospitality and tourism. It promotes the industry as a great place to work to the next generation, attracts talent into the industry, gives young and disadvantaged people the skills to launch their career and helps them secure brilliant hospitality jobs.