On board for sailing dream

A MOTHER of two has quit her job to compete in the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race. Anne Dickens, 48, from The Green, Beeston, knows all about the race as her husband Ian completed the full circumnavigation in the Clipper 2000 Round the World Yac

A MOTHER of two has quit her job to compete in the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race.

Anne Dickens, 48, from The Green, Beeston, knows all about the race as her husband Ian completed the full circumnavigation in the Clipper 2000 Round the World Yacht Race.

His experience was so memorable and life changing that he wrote a book about his challenge called Sea Change.

Anne is now following in her husband's wake and taking on the first three legs of the Clipper 07-08 Race which will see her race from Liverpool to Fremantle in Western Australia.


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"I've heard all the stories from my husband and his crew mates who competed in the 00-01 event," said Mrs Dickens, the former finance manager at Sandy Upper School.

"I've heard even more stories from friends who have competed in the Clipper 02-03 and Clipper 05-06 races. They have all inspired me to do the race and now this is my chance to show them all how it's done.

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"I am now in full training at sea and on land. Fitness is very important and I attended the gym at Sandy Upper School so by the time I leave on the race in September I will be ready.

"It is the chance of a lifetime and I am so excited."

Having originally signed herself up to do the first leg of the race from Liverpool to Brazil, she was lucky enough to win a leg during a raffle at the clipper 10 year anniversary of round the world yacht racing. Adding on the second leg from Brazil to Durban made her realise that she only needed to add on one more leg to sail halfway round the world.

"The hardest thing about the race will be getting off the boat in Fremantle," she said.

"It will be really difficult to say goodbye to my crew mates, my competitors and my boat but Ian will be waiting for me there."

After arriving in Australia, Mrs Dickens and her husband will tour the country before moving on to New Zealand to visit relatives.

She didn't have a great deal of sailing experience before signing up for the race, just a few sailing holidays and cruising around on boats belonging to friends.

However the comprehensive training, undertaken by all clipper crew, turns people who have never set foot on a boat before into competent ocean racers.

Anne has now realised life is too short not to have taken on something to be proud of and that a lack of sailing experience shouldn't stand in the way of her dreams.

"If you've thought about it, fancied it, dreamt of it, pick up the phone to do it!" she said when asked if she would encourage others to take part.

"When we come back I hope my husband and I will buy our own boat and sail around the world together.

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