Leg 0 - The first post

So you've worked out my name is James and my website is macandtack.com. You've probably also worked out that my plan is to sail round the world as part of the Clipper Round the World Race (to give it its official title). Well this is where I will keep you updated with the journey and tell the stories. But first some background. www.clipperroundtheworld.com 

I am a British born 30 year old male. Snooze. I had a "very tough" upbringing in the Caribbean moving between Barbados, Antigua and the Cayman Islands and went to a boarding school in the UK from age 10. At this age I started learning to sail and I owe most of it to three people - Matt Whittaker (1st instructor), David Carmichael (taught me most of what I know) and of course my father (supplying the boats, the funding and not to mention offering a top tip or two along the way).

I have never done huge amounts of serious racing under sail. Just a lot of pottering around in the South Sound or Grand Cayman on a Laser Pico or a Hobie Cat and the odd bits of club J22 racing at the CISC.

My most notable sailing accomplishment is a transatlantic crossing when I was 18. Particularly in failing to notify my mother properly that the short trip from Antigua to the BVI had snowballed quite dramatically to Antigua to St Tropez. I think the folks were relieved to receive a call from the bank saying their credit card was being used in the Azores - at least I had made it that far!

So why the Clipper race? I have dreamed about sailing the world since reading Pete Goss's book of his Vendee Globe race. I was drawn to the idea of offshore sailing by my love of the sea and the idea of man vs the gruelling elements and the camaraderie this brings. However, round the world sailing seems to be prohibitively expensive unless you're a retiree with a blue-water bucket list, or an elite sailor. The Clipper race is ground breaking in making it accessible for amateurs. 

I first heard about the race 7 years ago after starting my KPMG career in Manchester. My then boss, Claire Needham, was doing leg 2 and leg 7 of the race. Since then it has been stuck on my mind and I have been constantly saving towards it - despite life's determination to provide many cash-depleting distractions along the way.

Now I have finally got the funds together, signed up, left the job and am about to start the training weeks, totally psyched to spend a year away from the desk on the open ocean and hopefully crossing off my number one life goal.

I do have a few quick thank yous to say at the start as I wouldn't be here without their support. Obviously the family but I will give them my own soppy thank you when I set off. 

Current employer Estera Trust (Cayman) Limited and Julian Black for great support and encouragement. Not once did they doubt my intention or try to change my mind, in fact Julian has worked very hard to proactively support me. www.estera.com 

Sophie Benbow for this incredible website. She has put far more time into designing this than I ever expected. Sophie is Cayman based social media consultant so get in touch with her for some sound advice - links on the main page. www.lusticlife.com

Douglas 'JR' Cameron and the Peripherals team for for helping me to raise funding through the sale of sunglasses - so far we have already donated $500 to Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. Please check out the donations page for more info. www.peripherlls.com 

At this point I don’t know how often I will post and what format I will alert you all to my new posts. But for now sign up to the mailing list on the home page, follow me on instagram or Facebook and check back here periodically. I am sure I will try to grab your attention through one of these platforms.