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Lindsey Noble plans to stay the course of 40,000-mile clipper race
It's an ordeal that has pushed her to the limits – even to the point where she has been contemplating giving it all up.
But former Southampton City College principal Lindsey Noble says she is determined to stay on course to complete the world’s longest ocean race.
The 60-year-old quit her job and left her family behind in Hampshire to take part in all eight legs of the 40,000-mile Round the World Clipper Race, despite having next to no sailing experience.
Lindsey said the first three weeks across the Atlantic was an eye-opener but, during the second leg from Rio De Janerio, in Brazil, to Cape Town, in South Africa, the going got tough mentally and she battled to stay positive. She said: “A couple of times I thought ‘I am going to get off at the next stop’.
“Sometimes you think ‘why am I doing this?’.
“But you give yourself a talking-to and say that you can’t do that because you are raising money for charity and I have to stick with it.”
Lindsey’s voyage is raising money for Cancer Research UK research unit at Southampton General Hospital, inspired by the loss of her best childhood friend, Ann Webb. Also close to her heart is the No Limits charity, which provides vital support and counselling to people under 26.
Fortunately, Lindsey said she has not been blighted by sea-sickness, and the only physical effects are bruised hands.
But her main challenge has been combating frustration stemming from her own shortcomings as a sailor as she travels up a steep learning curve. She said: “That sort of frustration, I must not take it out on or allow it to permeate the crew. So I have got to control myself a bit more.
“For me I still need to control myself when I get frustrated and when things get on top of me, I am the sort of person who sort of says it how it is – saying ‘I can’t bear this, this is awful’.”
Yet despite feeling the strain, she says the relentless pace of life aboard her yacht means there is little time to dwell on things or even miss home. Now on dry land, in between her role of buying supplies, she has had a chance to reflect on her epic journey – which, with more than 30,000 miles to go, has only just begun. “I am tougher than I thought,” she says.
“I am taking it one stage at a time, and I think there is so much to learn.”
And she says she does not regret joining the race, especially for the chance to see whales and dolphins close-up while passing a tiny island she likened to something out of the film Jurassic Park. She added: “There are so many experiences I could not have had anywhere else.”
In the latest leg her team, Switzerland, came seventh out of 12 competing yachts.
Until she departs for Albany, Western Australia, on Monday, November 4, she said she is spoiling herself with food and drink and will spend time with her 25-year-old daughter Ferne, who has flown out to see her.
Donate to her good causes by visiting justgiving.com/Lindseygoes-aroundtheworld. The Daily Echo will provide updates of Lindsey’s progress.
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