You cannot keep a genuine siren away from the water forever and so one day local resident Calypso Harland decided that she'd had enough of the daily mind the gap routine between work and home and decided to dive into an adventure of a lifetime:
to join the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race.
When the starting gun goes off for the race on 13 September 2009, Calypso hopes to be in the fleet of ten sleek, stripped down 68-foot yachts, embarking on a full circumnavigation of the globe - but only providing she raises the funds!
Calypso is sailing around the world for charity. She has a target of £70,000 to raise in the next few weeks to support her chosen charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), and to secure her place on the boat. An ambitious target in current climate, but we think its a good cause worth digging deep for.
She set up the website www.hellosailor.org.uk and has produced a fabulous, playful 50s pinup inspired calendar full of local talent. The calendar is very well done, attractive, elegant and, to cheer things up a bit, it has a cheeky sexiness too. If you want to support her (or if you just like all things sexy), you can buy the calendar or choose to make a donation here.
We hooked up with her recently and talked about her forthcoming trip:
Source (S)- Do you have any sailing experience?
Calypso Harland (CH) - Before signing up for the race, I'd never sailed in my life...
(S) - Are you mad?
(CH) - Just another mad Kiwi seeking a crazy Round the World adventure for kicks
(S) - What motivated you to apply for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race as a crew member?
(CH) - Decided office life wasn't for me and needed to kickstart my life again.
(S) - How was the selection process?
(CH) - Standard selection process involves having a couple of interviews where they suss out whether you have the potential to flip out and chop your fellow crew members to death with a machete or not. Strangely enough, they accepted me after 10 minutes - little do they know...
(S) - Is there a specific role for you aboard or will you be doing a bit of everything?
(CH) - I'm hoping to do a bit of everything as it keeps it varied and interesting on a long journey. The intense training they send you on trains you in all areas of the boat. I'm particularly fond of anything that involves going up the mast and being on the foredeck where it gets a bit rough and wild.
(S) - Your skipper said “The leg to our home port from Western Australia is the part of the race I’m most looking forward to,” he says. “It will deliver the greatest change in sailing conditions, the most complicated routing and some of the toughest upwind racing.’
How are you preparing yourself for the challenges ahead, physically and mentally?
(CH) - I've got another couple of weeks of training coming up in August which will help with conditioning for the race but I have to say my biggest challenge right now is raising the money to do the race. The rest will just fall into place.
(S) - You are fundraising for charity. How did that come about?
(CH) - Last year some good friends told me about the work of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), an amazing medical humanitarian organization. I really like the fact that MSF is not influenced by political agenda and that they have a international presence. They are pretty much the first ones on the line when any major catastrophe breaks out. They purely exist to help people in medical need. MSF will receive half of whatever I manage to raise.
(S) - What about the calendar? How did you bring it together? Who did you get involved? How did you manage to reduce costs to produce it?
(CH) -: I was inspired by the Calendar Girls of the Women's Institute. The 50s retro comeback in the air was a big influence and really captured the essence of what I was after. Combined with the comedic and slightly surreal influence of artists such as Pierre et Gille, the Hello Sailor 2010 Calendar was born. Creative Director, Nick Fell of Ficklestix and photographer Charlotte Anderson really persevered with me to help me achieve my vision. The models are a collection of gorgeous friends who all thought like it sounded a fun project to be involved in and who wanted to help me achieve my dream. The pin-up theme was great to work with as none of us are particularly serious and we really had a great laugh on the shoot. We were really fortunate to have some exceptionally talented hair and make-up artists on board who worked tirelessly to transform the girls into sizzling hot pin-up beauties. I've worked in marketing the last 10 years so I had a lot of suppliers provide me services at cost or for free which really helped to keep the costs down a lot. It was a mammoth task pulling together The Hello Sailor 2010 Calendar and it wouldn’t of been possible without the wonderful support from a large collective of friends and believer’s in the cause.
November Image from the Hello Sailor 2010 Calendar... it never looked that good before!!
(S) - When are you departing and how long will the whole journey take?
(CH) - If I manage to raise my target in time, then I'll be setting sail in September for ten months covering over 35,000 miles of ocean. We start from the Humber in the north east of England and then cross the Atlantic Ocean to South America, on to Africa, Australasia, Singapore, China, across the planet's largest expanse of water, the Pacific Ocean, to the USA, through the Panama Canal, through the Caribbean to the east coast of the North American continent and back across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe.
(S) - How can we keep informed about your progress?
(CH) - You can keep track through my website: www.hellosailor.org.uk or through the official race website www.clipperroundtheworld.com. I'm on the Qingdao team which has it's own dedicated webpage where you can watch our progress.
Our big thanks to Calypso. We hope she can reach her target so she can take part in this magnificent adventure!
We'll keep you updated on her challenge.