Back in late August we introduced you to Callum, the recipient of a teamArchie bursary to take part in a leg of the 2019/20 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
Callum set off from London on board Zhuhai on 1st September, bound for Uruguay, with 7,250 miles of hard sailing ahead. After a brutal first race to Portugal (big winds and lumpy seas down the Channel and through the Bay of Biscay), where they came in 4th, they’re now on the long second drag across the Atlantic, having just passed the Cape Verde Islands and about to hit the dreaded doldrums (no wind, slow progress, sweltering heat… enough to do your head in). And he’s obviously doing Archie proud. As well as having established himself as one of the skipper’s “go-to” helmsmen, he was described in a recent blog as one of the “deck bunnies - bouncing around the deck, doing the high-risk adrenaline-flowing jobs”. He tells us he’s loving every moment, and this week he posted this own entry in the crew diary here.
We promised in our last post we’d say more about Callum and why he deserves all this, so here goes….
Having left school at 16 with no qualifications he spiralled into a young life of drug taking, drinking, and living on the streets in Hull. Homeless, he reached rock bottom when an overdose saw him end up in hospital. The day he left hospital and was moved into a hostel, he was picked up by CatZero (www.catzero.org), a fantastic Hull-based charity which delivers lasting change to young people, using a yacht as a floating classroom. Callum was persuaded to join one of their sailing trips despite being terrified of water and thinking it would be a waste of time. The experience was a life-changer - he conquered his fears, got the sailing bug. He’s now determined to build a life around sailing, so taking part in the Clipper Race is giving him incredible experience – of sailing, physical and mental endurance, and teamwork – to help make that happen.
All of which means that we’re just thrilled to be supporting Callum and can’t wait to work with him as a teamArchie mentor when he’s back.
In the meantime, he’s got over 3,500 miles to go…. You can follow his and Zhuhai’s fortunes here.