Diary of a Clipper Racer

Around the world in 333 days with Mark Osgood

Supporting my chosen charity - "Dreams Come True"

Final Diary entry, 54, added Monday 6th October 2003.

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3 - London Pride - Crew Allocation (6th July 2002)

It’s like your first day at school!

Crew allocation, we’ve always been told, is the day the 2002 Race will really take off.  Until now, each of the crewmembers has been an individual.  From now, the individuals become part of a team.

There are eight boats (London, Glasgow, Liverpool, Bristol, Jersey, Hong Kong, Cape Town, New York) and by the time everyone arrived at Excel in Eastern London on Saturday 6 July, where the allocation was to take place, each boat had its own skipper.

In the weeks leading up to the allocation, I had become increasingly anxious about who I would be sharing a year of my life with. 

Firstly, it seemed to me that the personality of the skipper would be crucial.  A good one would make the year ahead seem even more exciting - a bad one was not worth thinking about.  As for the other crewmembers, as I’m going to have to get to know them very well it will certainly be easier if they’re fun.  Finally, there was the choice of yacht.  I was desperate to get on London Clipper, but I knew that competition was stiff

There had been much to think about.

So there we all were, dressed in our new Henri Lloyd Race kit as Colin de Mowbray, the Race Director, stood in front of us and started reading out the list of names.  The excitement was tangible.  Glasgow and Liverpool were read out, no sign of my name.

And then came London…. - more and more names and still not mine – come on, where is it?!  And then, “Mark Osgood”- I was part of the London team.  The relief was big.  I didn’t pay much attention to the rest of the list!

My skipper is Chris “the Admiral” Hazeldene.  I hadn’t met him before but the reports were positive.  I had a number of old faces on board with me - Jazz, Cookie, Caroline, Maeve and Anna amongst them - and a new group of faces, all of whom will no doubt get a mention in the coming months.  Our first meeting was very positive – there were discussions about training, tactics and favourite tipples. What was better was our first session in the pub.   I’m surrounded by people who like to party, want to win and (inexplicably) all look like somebody famous! 

We began to develop London Pride.  I need to get writing a song.

Click here for part 4 - Welcome aboard London First! (7th July 2002)

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