HE’S done it!
After setting sail from London on September 1, CatZero’s Callum Leach has completed the adventure of a lifetime as a member of the Clipper’s Zhuhai crew.
After 35-days at sea Callum was back on dry land when the yacht docked in Punta del Este, Uruguay – and he was delighted to recount some of his adventures, while also thanking all the CatZero team and the charitable foundation teamArchie, which awarded him a bursary for the trip.
teamArchie offers programmes and bursaries for young people to make the most of their lives and themselves – aiming to swing the pendulum of opportunity in favour of those who really want to be the best they can be and prove they have the desire to make it happen, but need support.
Wanting to provide a bursary for a young person to undertake a leg of The Clipper, the round-the-world race for amateur sailors, teamArchie selected Callum. Of course, it was Callum’s work with our Director of Sailing Danny Watson that has aided his progression as a sailor – after he completed one of our courses, something which Callum is ever-grateful for.
“I actually feel lost for words when I think about what has happened to me. I owe my life to CatZero, and I can’t thank teamArchie enough for choosing me for this incredible bursary. I was determined to do both charities proud, to repay their amazing support for me,” said Callum, who is pictured above with our Patron Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who was in Uruguay to welcome the boats.
So, what of his adventures: let’s read about some of his highlights…
“I recall 21 September 21st and the Green watch, my watch, was on a standby from 0400 to 0800. Our duties would be to give a hand on deck for evolutions if required. As there were none planned, we did our morning routine of baking some fresh bread for breakfast at 0800.
“The bread tasted incredible and it was nice to eat something so fresh! After breakfast our watch made it up on deck for 07:50 ready for handover and received the info we needed…full mainsail and the ‘Code 2’, which is an asymmetrical spinnaker middle in size, and no reported vessels in the area. The compass course was around 190 degrees with an average speed of 12 Kts with the wind on the beam.
“I was the first person to take the helm in my watch and it felt a little heavy. We were doing 20-minute rotations on the spinnaker sheet winch and also on the coffee grinder. As I was concentrating on keeping the spinnaker full of wind and also trying to stay on course, I heard a big splash on the starboard side quarter. At first I didn’t realise what the splash was, but moments later it happened again and it was four dolphins swimming with us. What a beautiful way to start the day.”
“On another occasion, I was back on watch at 04.00 and feeling OK, just a little tired. The watch handover was pretty similar to the last, Code 2 and full mainsail, no vessels in the area and we were sailing on a true wind angle of 150 degrees with a target speed of above 10 Kts.
“As I took over on the helm in the first 10 minutes, I felt something hit me in my arm and moments later I realised we had the Atlantic sea monsters with us…also known as flying fish! There were so many on the deck on our four-hour watch we collected them in a bucket full of salt water until the morning when the skipper prepped them for breakfast. Nick fried them in some oil, with diced onions, fresh garlic with some fresh lemon and Tabasco sauce, Very tasty!”
Well done Callum, and we look forward to hearing about all of your adventures.