First Clipper Race Brand Ambassador Blog – Race 1 London to Portugal

Following an incredible Race Start at St Katherine’s Docks in London at the end of August, our 2019-20 Race Ambassador James Andersen sent his first and last thoughts ahead of his epic year long voyage circumnavigating around the Globe.  His first blog from the completion of Race 1 can be read in the CLIPPER RACE NEWS BLOG here.


There have been a lot of lasts in the previous few days. Last time to speak to family, last time to sit at a table to eat, last time on dry land for a while. Many mixed feelings on board, even a few tears. But certainly, a sense of nervous anticipation. 

Last preparations were completed; the new sails are ready, the sheets and halyards are spliced, the old lines have been stripped and re-used extensively for strops, chafe protection and more. We were still making best use of time with more soft shackles from the old cores last night, Sun 1stSept, as we sat at anchor awaiting the racing start. Lots of busy hands as we settled into anchor watch. I’m sure this helped some nerves.


First time all the Leg 1 sailors are together on board. First departure from a Host Port and what a spectacular start to the Race of OUR Lives. The noise of the crowd, the atmosphere, the energy was all infectious at the official start from St. Katherine Docks and through Tower Bridge. I have to say we think we had the best departure, full K-pop to Gangnam Style on Imagine your Korea.To have our friends, families and supporters wave us from the shoreside.


An early start on 2ndSept, anticipation making sleep challenging for many of us. We were all encouraged to see so many supporters on the end of Southend Pier with fabulous cheering on each boats close approach. 

Excitement certainly mounted onboard as the boats positioned themselves for a great start promptly at 10:00 am. Over the line and up with the kites as different strategies from the skippers are instantly seen.

We are quickly settling in in glorious weather and look forward to the tactical dash down the channel to head for Portimao.

Stay posted for regular updates from James and the Clipper Race adventure on our CLIPPER RACE NEWS HUB