Novice sailor from Wicken is among the crew who won the Round The World Clipper Race

PUBLISHED: 19:00 30 July 2018 | UPDATED: 19:00 30 July 2018

Amateur sailor Glen Manchett is among the winning team of the Clipper Round the World race. PHOTO: Clipper

Amateur sailor Glen Manchett is among the winning team of the Clipper Round the World race. PHOTO: Clipper

Archant

A business man from Wicken, who has never sailed before, is among a team that won the prestigious Clipper Round the World yacht race.

Amateur sailor Glen Manchett is among the winning team of the Clipper Round the World race. PHOTO: ClipperAmateur sailor Glen Manchett is among the winning team of the Clipper Round the World race. PHOTO: Clipper

Glenn Manchett, a 54-year-old company director, and his Sanya Serenity Coast team, won the race after an epic 11 month, 40,000 nautical mile endurance trek.

The Clipper Race is considered to be one of the most challenging endurance events on the planet and is the only sailing event which trains everyday people to circumnavigate the globe in its 70-foot purpose-built ocean racers.

What makes Glenn’s story all the more amazing is that he, like nearly half of Clipper Race crew, had never sailed before embarking on Clipper Race training.

For Glenn, director of Manchetts, it was a surprise Christmas gift from his wife.

Amateur sailor Glen Manchett is among the winning team of the Clipper Round the World race. PHOTO: ClipperAmateur sailor Glen Manchett is among the winning team of the Clipper Round the World race. PHOTO: Clipper

He said: “I was expecting a usual Christmas, but then I opened a present from my wife to find a completed application form and a date to attend an interview at Clipper Race HQ in Gosport. Was she trying to tell me something?”

Despite being a newcomer to the sport, after setting off from Liverpool on August 20 in 2017, Glenn has spent 335 days at sea racing to places including Uruguay, South Africa, Australia, China, USA, and Northern Ireland before returning to Liverpool on Saturday July 28 aboard the Sanya Serenity Coast team yacht.

He has been joined by his son for three of the legs of the trip.

Glenn said: “I used to think that in these kinds of interviews when people said that the time with their team was amazing, they were just being polite. But that’s not true.

“I’ve met people who have impressed me in so many ways. The generous patience of the watch leaders while teaching us new skills, those with rocket-fuelled brain cells who pick up new information at top speed, and, above all, the good humour.”

Part of a history making team, Glenn was led by Australian Sailor Wendy Tuck, 53-year-old Skipper of Sanya Serenity Coast who became the first woman to ever win a round the world yacht race.

Since departing Liverpool last year, Glenn has faced mother nature in the raw, experiencing hurricane force winds and phenomenal sea states in the North Pacific, raced across some of the most remote and hostile corners of the planet and at times, nearest companions to Glenn and his teammates, other than Clipper Race crews, would have been astronauts in the International Space Station.

However for Glenn, the reality of his accomplishment is difficult to fully absorb.

He explains: “Sometimes, up on deck, on a cold night with winds and sea roaring so loudly you can hardly think, on a six-hour watch where each time you check your watch after what seems like a millennium and only a minute has passed, I do ask myself why am I doing this?

“But, I know that’s not what I’ll take away from the whole experience: I’ll remember whales breaching, phosphorescence, wild sea states, our crew rapping, spinnaker wraps, the thrill of surfing down 40ft waves, arriving at shore to greetings in port and the overwhelming tide of support from family and friends.”

Glenn is one of 73 crew members who have been taking part in the full circumnavigation and is joining a unique group of people - more people have climbed Mount Everest than have sailed around the world.

After crossing six oceans and visiting thirteen stopover ports on six continents, the duo took part in one final sprint up the River Mersey to Liverpool’s Royal Albert Dock on Saturday July 28, though the team had already gained enough points to win overall after crossing the Race 13 finish line the day before.

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