Clipper Round the World yacht race 2009/10: Newport sailor returns home

TEN months, 35,000 miles and the challenge of a lifetime: a Newport man has returned to dry land after sailing around the world.

TEN months, 35,000 miles and the challenge of a lifetime: a Newport man has returned to dry land after sailing around the world.

Jeremy Reed returned home last week after 317 days spent at sea as part of the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht race.

Amongst a fleet of 10 identical 68ft stripped down racing yachts, the media consultant, aboard Hull & Humber, experienced a full range of emotions on the eight-leg, 16 race full circumnavigation of the globe.

“It all seems very strange getting back to reality,” he told the Reporter from his home in Cambridge Road. “But sailing around the world is everything I wanted it to be, and more. There wasn’t just one highlight.

“I have been amazed and bored, felt lonely and terrified. I’ve seen things very few others have seen.

“It was a fantastic experience and I feel a sense of achievement. And if it has taught me anything, it is: if you want to do something, then do it.”

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The adventure obviously lived up to expectations for the self-confessed adrenaline junky, although there were moments of despair along the way.

Notable amongst the terrifying situations for the previously amateur sailor included his boat’s collision with a rival yacht approaching the start of the leg from Cape Town, carrying out a rescue mission after the same yacht run aground in the Java Sea, and a real-life man-over-board situation in the south Atlantic.

“If something happens while at sea, you have to deal with it there and then. And you have to fix it with what is available on board,” said Jeremy.

“I’d experienced many man-over-board drills in training but never in a real situation. It was a complete shock.

“And we were very lucky after the collision with Cork. It went right into the side of us. Engineers said if would have been six inches further back then it could have killed several of our crew, including myself.”

Arguably the toughest part of the journey though, was during the longest period spent at sea – a 35-day crossing of the Pacific.

“It was constantly cold and wet and got to the point of ‘why am I doing this?’ he said. “It was grey, foreboding, with huge swells and torrential rain. And there was no let up for 10 days.”

Despite the many trials, the 18-strong crew - eight of whom, including Jeremy, made the entire journey while others got on and off at various stop overs - of the Hull & Humber finished a creditable fourth overall in a race won by the performance crew of the Spirit of Australia.

“Given what happened to us it was a fair result,” said Jeremy. “But the camaraderie on board was very good and we did what we set out to do: enjoy the experience.”

Alongside the adventure, Jeremy is raising money for the East Anglian Children’s Hospice (EACH) which has three care services at Milton, Ipswich and Quidenham in Norfolk.

EACH help life-threatened children and their families with the emotional and physical challenges they face by providing expert care and a range of other essential support in a home-from-home environment or in the comfort of their own home.

Jeremy has raised �3900 but is leaving his collection site – – open for another month for people to make a donation.