Simon Parker, a British travel writer and broadcaster, has embarked on an extraordinary journey that will see him cross 2 oceans (one the World’s most vast) and 15,000 miles in 133 days as he races against the yachts taking place in the 9th annual Clipper Round the World Race. The race is unique as it is the only one that allows novice sailors to take part in the event, albeit after a gruelling and compulsory 4-week training programme. The difference between the rest of the competitors and Simon? He’s doing part of the race – a few thousand miles of it in fact – on a bicycle!
Simon’s epic challenge becomes even more remarkable when you learn that he only began sailing 6 months ago and admits that he’s probably cycled less than 1000 miles in his entire life. So what on earth inspired him to set himself such a daunting challenge? In his own words:
“Before I signed up and started my Clipper Race training, like many of my crew mates, I had never sailed before. At first, the idea of sailing across the world’s biggest ocean was a daunting enough task, but as the training went on I began to think about creating a greater challenge for myself within the Clipper Race journey, and decided to use the race route to create a test for myself within the race.”
Good grief, you can say that again! The Clipper Round the World Race is a huge undertaking that takes 11-months in total and covers a mind-bending 40,000 nautical miles. Simon’s journey will see him compete in the longest leg of the race.
His epic journey kicked off on March 20th, when this intrepid, 29-year-old explorer set sail across the punishing Pacific Ocean from Qingdao, China all the way to Seattle, Washington with the Clipper fleet. Since arriving there on April 16th, bruised and battered by the Pacific Ocean but mercifully still in one piece, he began his 4000-mile overland trek across the United States from Seattle to New York, covering an average of 80-100 miles per day. Alone and completely unsupported, the overland trip part of the race will take him 6 weeks to complete and as we speak, he’s already completed more than 8000 miles across land and sea.
“I will … be cycling through America encountering everything from snow to mountains and potential danger such as bears. I won’t have much kit apart from a tent and stove. I have a small budget, and am hoping people will help me along the way with accommodation, which will be an interesting social experiment in itself to explore.”
The next important milestone for Simon will be keeping his date to meet back up with the Clipper fleet in New York in a couple of weeks time and from there, he’ll sail across the Atlantic Ocean to Ireland, before getting back on his bike and cycling to Holland. UUUFF!!
Oh boy, are we cheering him on!! GO SIMON!! If you’re ever in Ibiza, the beers are on us, dude!
Images taken from Simon’s Facebook page (Update: Facebook page is now deleted) where you can keep up with his progress!
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