Epic nautical adventure awaits York A&E nurse preparing for Clipper 2019/20 Round the World Yacht Race

An epic adventure awaits an A&E nurse from York as she gears up for the Clipper 2019/20 Round the World Yacht Race.

A&E nurse Eve Ashforth is preparing to take part in the Clipper 2019/20 Round the World Yacht Race.
A&E nurse Eve Ashforth is preparing to take part in the Clipper 2019/20 Round the World Yacht Race.

Eve Ashforth, 28, had never stepped foot on a yacht when she signed up for the 40,000 nautical mile endurance challenge that takes almost a year to complete.

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But she is determined to prove to herself that she can achieve anything, despite the hardships that might be in store.

During the last edition of the race, participants battled with extreme heat, freezing conditions, 46ft high waves, hurricane force winds and boat speeds up to 35 knots – equivalent to 40mph.

“These opportunities don’t always come around so I wanted to grab it with both hands,” said Eve. “Many of my friends ask me if I have a boat or am already a great sailor.

"When I explain the reality, that I am a complete newcomer to the sport, they are somewhat shocked.”

The Clipper Race was established in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who became the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968/69.

His aim was to allow anyone, regardless of previous sailing experience, the chance to embrace the thrill of ocean racing and around 40 per cent of the 11 crews taking part each year are novices.

Like every crew member, Eve will need to pass each of the four gruelling levels of Clipper Race Training before lining up at the start of the 2019/20 race.

Reflecting on the experience so far, she said: “Considering I have never sailed before, Level 1 was a huge shock. Excuse the pun but it was literally like being thrown in the deep end.

“I am hugely surprised about how much I have learnt in such a short space of time but it’s definitely not without its challenges.

“On a side note I have also been surprised at how well I can sleep at a 45-degree angle and also how many different types of pasta dishes it’s possible to create with only five ingredients!”

Eve will continue her training in the coming months before the race gets under way next summer.

Race organisers say more people have climbed Mount Everest than circumnavigated the globe, so she will be part of an elite group by the time she returns home to her friends and family 11 months later.

“My parents are incredibly supportive and without them it wouldn’t be possible to achieve this amazing adventure,” Eve added.