Sailors battle halfway through Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

Ed Collison, 18, from Emsworth, is on the Invest Africa boat in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 13-14. He is the youngest sailor doing the whole race.
Ed Collison, 18, from Emsworth, is on the Invest Africa boat in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 13-14. He is the youngest sailor doing the whole race.
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HE is the youngest sailor on a round-the-world yacht race but Ed Collison is treated just like everyone else.

The 18-year-old from Emsworth has this week set off from Singapore heading to Qingdao, in China, as part of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

Speaking to The News, 6ft 2in Ed said he is adapting to life at a 45-degree angle on the waves and sleeping in a cramped 6ft bunk bed.

The teenager, who has taken on the watch leader job, said: ‘Being the youngest on the race hasn’t really crossed my mind as I’m treated the same as everyone else.

‘I love the job role although is very stressful.

‘Tough points in the race so far have been the hurricanes we have faced and in the past leg the extreme heat with no air conditioning.’

Ed said that he can only wash around every 10 days when he takes on the cooking and cleaning job on the boat, which is led by a professional skipper and crewed by amateurs.

He added: ‘In the past leg there was extreme heat with no air conditioning.

‘It must have been 40-plus degrees with three small fans on board. Life became a little smelly.’

Ed is on Invest Africa, one of 12 Clipper 70 yachts racing.

The fleet are expected in Qingdao, between March 7 and 9.

Pete Stirling, 48, of Titchfield, is skipper of Jamaica Get All Right.

He spoke to The News ahead of setting off – but his boat has now had to retire after a problem with a mast support.

He said: ‘It’s been good especially the last leg.

‘The round-the-world crew and the multiple-leggers have really settled in now to what they’re doing.

‘The biggest problem was the heat rather than any bad weather.’

He added the fleet had battled big storms and winds of over 100 knots in the Southern Ocean.

Gareth Glover, 37, of Gosport, is the skipper of Qingdao and is looking forward to reaching China.

He said: ‘We’ve dropped a few places, as we were third overall for a while. We’ve had a couple of tough legs.

‘We’ve got quite a few Chinese crew and quite a few crew are working in Asia.’

They are mid-way through the 40,000-mile race.