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We share a natural affinity with people who throw off the comfort blanket of life and challenge themselves to achieve incredible things. Personal adventures, feats of extreme endurance or athletes who push their personal boundaries.
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is our kind of event. Ordinary people with no previous experience, trained and put into teams aboard 12 identical 70’ ocean racing yachts, racing around the globe for 40,000 miles, 11 months and crossing 6 oceans. The start was last weekend from St Katherine Docks on the Thames and we’re mighty proud to be working with them as the official race timing partner.
We presented special edition watches to every skipper and Clipper Race dignitary including Sir Robin Knox Johnstone. One person who deserves a special mention is Matt Ogg – our onboard ambassador sailing on Da Nang. Matt is a 28 year old political consultant who’s given up everything to take part. He’s the onboard media officer and amongst his sailing duties he climbs the mast for rigging safety checks but his most challenging role is that of bow man. He’ll spend many hours being battered by wave after wave as he fastens and removes sails from the forestay, stood partly on the side railings as he clings on – harnessed to the boat just in case the worst should happen.
Matt is a normal guy with a spirit for adventure and it’s people like him who we're compelled to support. During our pre race chat, his anxiety was palpable yet as soon as he jumped on board it was like he was instantly at home – already clicking with the other crew members.
As partners of the race, we had an enormous sense of longing to take part – then we saw the living quarters and decided 11 months of that was for people made from sterner stuff!
Seeing the boats head off through Tower Bridge on Sunday at the ceremonial start was an emotional time for everyone as they waved their farewells. Every crew member will come back different; wiser, tougher and judging by those we’ve met, they’ll enjoy a kind of calm inner fortitude.
It’s a mind-blowing challenge and we wish Matt and every crew member a safe and exhilarating race.