Megan Allpress, 26, and her mother Amanda Shehab, 56, are sailing almost 5,000 nautical miles to Australia from Cape Town on the third leg of their circumnavigation.
Megan, a materials engineer from Cumbria, and Amanda, a retired company director from Wrexham, are currently sailing around the world on the Clipper Race, an event that trains people from all walks of life to race across the world’s oceans on board a 70ft racing yacht. Amanda and Megan are taking on this huge adventure together to fulfil a dream that Amanda had with her late-husband to sail around the world- the pair are the first mother-daughter duo to participate in the global sailing event together.
So far, the pair have sailed over 10,000nm miles and are now racing on the Leg 3 of the adventure: a 4,750nm voyage from Cape Town to Fremantle, Western Australia. Sailing on board their team yacht Dare To Lead, Megan and Amanda have experienced a cocktail of conditions so far: from fast downwind sailing to unseasonable weather patterns serving up tough headwinds and wind holes, (patches of no wind, becalming the yachts) to big low-pressure systems, fog and consistent rain. The two sailors have also experienced the thrill of victory, as their team Dare To Lead won the previous race into Cape Town and is currently standing in second place on the overall race leaderboard. Following some rest and relaxation in Cape Town, the pair are now headed for the Roaring Forties, an area of the world that not many sailors get to experience.
Megan and Amanda will face the notorious Roaring Forties famed for huge swells and fierce winds and be immersed in one of the most remote areas of the world. Speaking just before departing Cape Town, Amanda said: “This next leg is the one I am most apprehensive, but most excited about. I’m more settled on this leg than previous legs. On Leg 2, you don’t see any other ships other than the Clipper Race yachts, so in that respect I’m comfortable with that. But I know the waves will be bigger and the weather will be more extreme.”
Megan added: “I don’t know why but I think I am more nervous for this one than I was on the previous one. I think because on the last one I was expecting the weather, but we didn’t end up getting the big weather, so I don’t know what to expect – it’s a bit of an unknown. Racing in the Roaring Forties is something not many people get to do, so it’s something new and exciting.”
Megan, Amanda and their teammates are expected to arrive in Fremantle from 8-11 December, where they can enjoy some downtime and Aussie hospitality before embarking on the fourth leg of the adventure. Leg 4: The Australian Coast-to-Coast Leg involves two races and nearly 3,500nm of sailing from Fremantle to Newcastle, NSW and then up to the tropical Airlie Beach in Queensland.
This edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race features over 700 people, aged 18 to 71, representing 55 nationalities and many diverse walks of life including electricians, orthopaedic surgeons, police sergeants and teachers, and the event’s first mother-daughter duo, competing together on a matched fleet of 70ft ocean racing yachts. 22 percent of the crew had never sailed before signing up to the challenge as a mandatory and intensive four stages of training is provided. Each team is led by a professional Skipper and First Mate.
The Clipper Race got underway from Portsmouth, UK in September, and so far on this edition, its fleet has sailed over 10,000 nautical miles. Next, the teams will sail across the infamous Roaring Forties from Cape Town to Fremantle before racing around Australia to both Newcastle and Airlie Beach. The next stops on the race route are then Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam, Qingdao and Zhuhai – China, Seattle and Washington, DC – USA, before returning to Portsmouth at the end of July 2024, via Oban, Scotland.