Still time to relax before the main meeting and have a coffee with Wendy, Ollie and Wend
352 participants in this room - more people than any of the other years attending a crew allocation day and still not all the people taking part in the race! A 10am punctual start and time to learn more news about the race and hear words of advice from Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. The start of the race is July 31st and will be from somewhere in the Solent - still to be confirmed exactely where. Then to meet the skippers and for them to read the names of who are in their teams. Woo!! I am with a skipper named, Gordon Reid on yacht CV1. With a crew of 49 people doing 1 or more leg (s) of the race and with 8 of those doing the complete race!!! Brave souls indeedy.
And here are some of as Transplant Ambassadors:- Nick, Steve, me, John, TT and Darius ranging from transplant surgeons, transplant co-ordinator and transplant recipients.
I think the word is getting out and about us, and of the 500 people taking part in the Round the World Yacht race, there is a minority of us - seeking to raise awareness of Organ Donation (about 10 within this group) and about half of those actual transplant recipients. But, me being the only double-lungs. Bit surreal for me still, breathing with someone else's lungs, but hope my donor is proud of me.
Once we were informed of our skipper/team, we were all grouped together to hear from Gordon (skipper) about his background, crew roles, pre-race schedule, working out a boat song, boat dynamics and rules, and much much more.
After the meeting at the luxurious De Vere Hotel in Southampton, coaches were taken to Ocean Village to have group photos of our team/skipper - then an overall photo of everyone with some of the yachts there. ELECTRIC - was the atmosphere...cheering...clapping..so many smiles...and the banter had already started.......
Onlookers had come to support us all - and probably thinking hundreds of crazy people about to embark on sailing around the world, I wish I had the bottle to do that - brave individuals.
And lovely to see Sir Robin Knox-Johnston overlooking on the balcony supporting the new bunch of Clipper 11-12 crew. If he can do it - then so can we!!
A mass of red coats, buzzing ambience and chants - but, don't worry you other teams. CV1 is proud to already announce that the trophy have our name engraved....we just got wait a whole year to get it!!
I still have level 3 practical to do and level 4 - both back to back in July. But, for now as some of you are aware...I'm competing in my 1st ever World Transplant Games in Sweden next month and need keep training for that - eek.
Okies....time for me to say goodbye for now. Loved the weekend, it totally rocked! And fantastic to meet so many new people. Bring it ON!!!
Happy smiles and much love for now