Bradford on Avon GP to rejoin round-world race
After battling high winds and huge waves in the round-the-world Clipper Race, Bradford on Avon GP Nell Wyatt is preparing to do it again.
Dr Wyatt, of Bradford on Avon and Melksham Partnership, completed leg three of the race, a 4,700-mile journey from Cape Town in South Africa to Albany in Australia, last November.
In three weeks she faces the 5,100-mile journey from Qingdao in China to San Francisco in America.
The crew of 19 amateur sailors and a professional skipper competed in leg three of the 40,000-mile race in a 70ft boat called Jamaica. It came 10th of 12 boats.
Dr Wyatt, 54, said: “They were the biggest winds and waves I have ever seen. We had three storms with the highest wind of 120 knots and 20-25 foot waves. It was what I had hoped for, I wanted a big life challenge.
“The boat was leaning at 30 degrees or more but I was fine straight away. It was a challenge physically and mentally, with only three hours sleep at a time. For three and a half weeks I was wet, cold and tired, but I loved it.
“I saw whales, dolphins and albatrosses and for three weeks didn’t see another boat. Seeing the hugeness of the world was something I wanted to experience.”
The doctor put her medical skills to use on the third day when a fellow crew member dislocated his shoulder after a fall.
She added: “I had to put it back in which was difficult when we were sailing at an angle.”
The godmother-of-ten has been sailing since a child with her family and has sailed in races including the Fastnet Race and cross-channel.
Work commitments prevented her competing in all eight legs of the race but she is now preparing to fly to China for leg six.
She will race in the same boat with the same skipper and crew old and new in their attempt to win the Clipper Race.
Dr Wyatt said: “It’ll be very cold and I will most likely be sweeping ice and snow off the deck. This leg will be a lot tougher. I am nervous, but I am looking forward to it.
“My sailing skills are improving – one day I would love to complete the whole race.”