To suggest that Roseann McGlinchey’s dream was a big deal to her, would be an understatement.
The 23-years-old former Thornhill College student went as far as changing the date of her wedding from March 2018, to October 2018. She’s also taken on the challenge of raising just short of £50,000.
But the Killea woman believes the ‘Clipper round the world Yacht Race,’ will prove to be the trip of a lifetime that will test her to the limit, physically and mentally.
And judging by the description from Clipper Race organisers that it’s “one of the biggest challenges of the natural world and an endurance test like no other,” Roseann will certainly be tested.
She explains what it was that inspired her to sign up.
“After seeing the Clipper come and go from Derry over the past few years, I decided I would take on the challenge. An email and phone call three days later and I was in,” the Magee Advertising graduate told the ‘Journal.’
As Roseann prepares to say goodbye to dry land for 11 months, she’s been busy training and raising money needed to finance her adventure.
“We have four weeks of training; 40 per cent of the race participants, including me, have never sailed before so the training goes from absolute beginners right up to making us ready to sail some of the worst conditions,” she declared.
“My first few days of Level 1 were like learning a new language. Apparently a rope is not just called a rope!
“Other things we cover include living at angles of 45 degrees, living in watch systems and surviving on four hours sleep at a time, cooking for 22 people in a tiny kitchen along side all the other technical sailing skills.”
Roseann said despite her lack of sailing experience, she isn’t phased. To date she’s enjoyed a week of training in Gosport, England and has three more weeks of official training before setting sail!
She said she’s also hoping to get in a few days practise at Lough Swilly Yacht Club over the next few months.
The race consists of 12 identical yachts racing a record-breaking 40,000 nautical miles circumnavigating the globe.
Each boat has around 22 crew, usually a mixture of people staying on for the full 11 months plus people who do individual legs lasting around six weeks. In all, there are around 700 crew taking part, with more than 40 nationalities involved.
Roseann said living for close to a year at sea in cramped conditions and in all sorts of weather, means she needs to be prepared for anything and everything.
“The kit is a minefield, where your options are limitless. As someone on a very tight budget, I am mostly buying second hand kit online from previous crew.
“If anyone knows where I could get a years supply of exfoliating baby wipes, that would be great,” she joked.
The round-the-world trip is split into eight legs with 14 races and the race is due to start at the end of August in England.
Roseann will be visiting 14 ports over six Continents, with stop overs confirmed in Australia, China, Seattle and, of course, Derry.
It’s a far cry from her job as a marketing manager and Roseann openly admitted she has fears about the biggest challenge she’s ever faced. As she said herself, she’s “terrified.”
“With no experience I do not know what to expect - sharks, seafood dinners - but apart from these things. I think the hardest thing will be being away from my family for so long.
“There isnt much communication on board, which will be a big change,” she said, candidly. “I would love to be able to inspire even just one person to make a change to their life to become a happier person.
“I am also hoping to meet some inspirational people along the the way who can teach me about different cultures and ways of life.”
The race is self funded, costing £49,500 and Roseann has raised £12,000 so far through events including a masquerade ball, nights at the races and raffles.
“I’m also hoping to team up with Foyle Search and Rescue to carry out some events with them and raise some money to support them.
At the minute, we are looking for local businesses who would like to get involved with helping both myself and and Foyle Search and Rescue.
“I’d also like to say ‘thank you’ to Malin Waters for their support so far.”
Check out these links to find out more about Roseann’s adventure - facebook.com/roseannsails/ or gofundme.com/roseannsclipper