Sailing Full CircleSummer 2016
— Although the 11 months since the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race set sail from St. Katharine Docks may have passed in the blink of an eye for those left on terra firma, the sight of Tower Bridge as they come round the Wapping bend of the Thames will be a sight the crews have long dreamed of.
The famous race – a feat of strength and endurance undertaken mainly by amateur sailors – is due to finish at St. Katharine Docks on 30th July 2016, after visiting 12 international ports and covering 40,000 nautical miles. There will be a riot of noise, colour and much needed hugs from loved ones as the teams moor up one last time and begin to reflect on their epic adventures. The homestretch carries extra provenance for two participants, as the last of eight legs will literally take them home. Thom Fisher and Marta Michalska are residents at St. Katharine Docks. They entered the race separately but, coincidently, were both allocated to the UNICEF boat – one of twelve 70-foot identical clipper yachts. Marta decided to use annual leave from her job as a commodities broker to take part in the Clipper Race – quite a change from the standard fortnight on the beach. She managed to complete two legs of the race – 4 and 8 – which totalled more than 50 days at sea and over 7,600 miles sailed.
Fellow resident, Thom, has been able to take part in a number of race legs. He will be on board the UNICEF clipper on its final journey as it sails back into the dock from New York via Derry and Den Helder in the Netherlands. In total, journeyman Thom will have completed legs 3, 4, 7 and 8 (overlapping with Marta for two of the legs) and he will have sailed over 17,828 miles over the course of more than 100 days. There will be a real buzz in the air as the clippers glide up the Thames and into St. Katharine Docks – a truly remarkable spectacle.
Why not grab a great vantage point along the banks – or even from Tower Bridge – then make your way down to the Docks and see the clippers up close?