Clare rowed for many years in Cambridge in the 1990’s and managed to fit in an Atlantic crossing by yacht in the 1992 ARC rally. She loves climbing and riding her horse. Her passion is the positive power of nature and is a mum to 2 teenagers.
Why do you want to row an ocean?
I have sailed across the Atlantic on Maiden, the first boat to take an all girls crew around the world, and I rowed for many years in Cambridge, it was a real passion for me, completely addicted. My Dad used to row in Edinburgh and said don’t take it up you will get addicted, he was right. I have always wanted to combine the two and I am so, so delighted this opportunity has come up.
Have you taken part in a big adventure before?
Yes I think so but different people have different ideas of what is an adventure. Camping for one night is a major adventure for some, so…
- Taking my children to live on a remote island off Dar es Salaam for 6 months, when my life had fallen apart, home schooling and doing some work for the Dept of Antiquities in Dar. My ex husband had just lost our beautiful home in Devon and it seemed like a good time for an adventure.
- Sailing across the Atlantic as part of the ARC Rally in 1992. A Cheshire farming friend had just sold a business, and bought Maiden, which had been left, almost untouched after Tracey Edwards round the world race. We fixed her up and off we went on the ARC Rally, I was thrilled that my name was picked out of the hat. We raced her too, at Cork Week, Antigua race week, Irish sea races and in the Solent, great times.
- Climbed Kilimanjaro just before my 30th birthday then got the train to Dar es Salaam and boats to Zanzibar to stay with a old friend who was working on Zanzibar and was very much alone.
- Pack rafting down the Danube for 10 days in 38 degree heat ( the clams were all dying in the heat and floating to the surface), with my children last year, wild camping on the side or the river, as part of a trans-European pack rafting trip from Ireland to the Black Sea. Slept in the damp basement of an art hotel in Budapest the first night and had no idea where we would end up in the time we had. Lots of buses and train trips to get home.
What are you most looking forward to about rowing?
I love rowing! I love the rhythm, the feeling of the blade in the water, the impact on your body, butt sores, blisters and all. The slide and the glide.
Being out in the big blue a long long way from everything.
The force of nature, the awe and wonder of it, the joy of sighting the beasties that we come across on the way. Magical phosphorence that makes you believe in magic.
What do you think the biggest challenges will be?
Not learning to hate rowing. Monotony, BIG WAVES, bad weather. People issues, sore bum, sore hands, being able to weep in front of everyone?
What 3 strengths do you think you will bring to the crew?
Sense of humour, peace maker, strength (I have coped with more than I could ever have imagined in my worst nightmares, and 100 times beyond that, and survived, so am pretty sanguine about difficulty.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
My children. People who just get on a do what’s right and are decent human beings…
What advice would you give to your 10 year old self?
Be bold, be brave and throw yourself at every opportunity, live life to the full. Don’t let the bastards get you down.
Aside from friends and family, what do you think you will miss most while you’re at sea?
My dog. My bed. Fresh herbs.
If you could only listen to one album for the whole crossing, what would it be?
Carrs – Drive, Raintown – Deacon blue, Dignity, Hot chocolate, no no not just one album…
What would you sing at a karaoke night?
You Sexy Thing, Hot Chocolate…thats my era.
What will you bring as your luxury item?
What is the most annoying habit other people have?
Snoring and not being who they really are?
Lots…the Just So stories, Animal Orchestra, Bernie Krause.
Tell us an interesting thing about you people should know…
I love bugs (entomologist)