Lancaster woman completes first stage of round-the-world yacht race

Mary Vaughan-Jones is due to arrive into Uruguay, completing the first stage of her epic Clipper Race circumnavigation. Credit: Clipper Race
Mary Vaughan-Jones is due to arrive into Uruguay, completing the first stage of her epic Clipper Race circumnavigation. Credit: Clipper Race

Lancaster fitness instructor Mary Vaughan-Jones has completed the first stage of an epic round-the-world yacht race.

Mary, 24, is due to arrive into Uruguay, completing the first stage of the Clipper Race circumnavigation.

Some of the crew on the yacht at sunset. Credit: Clipper Race

Some of the crew on the yacht at sunset. Credit: Clipper Race

She is due to arrive into the South American resort of Punta del Este, Uruguay, in the coming days after spending almost a month racing 5,196 miles around the clock across the Atlantic Ocean as part of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

Speaking from on board, Mary said: “I’m only at the start of my round the world trip and so still have a few ocean crossings to go, but I don’t think it’ll ever get old or less mind-boggling to look at the mass of stars above and think about what the hell we’re doing.”

Mary is one of around 220 everyday people who set sail from Portimão, Portugal, on September 15 to Punta del Este in the first big test of the 40,000 nautical mile Clipper Race circumnavigation.

The race has seen Mary and her 20 novice teammates, who are sailing on board the destination port’s bright yellow team yacht called Punta del Este, battle through storms, intense heat, rolling sea states and cross the equator – a ceremonious milestone steeped in sailing tradition.

The race across the Atlantic is the first of six ocean crossings that form part of the eleven month Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Race, which began in London on September 1.

The Clipper Race is unique in that it trains everyday people to sail around the world.

And 40 per cent of participants had no sailing experience before signing up for the four weeks of intensive Clipper Race training, with the crew hailing from 43 different countries and all walks of life.

When Mary completes the Clipper Race, she will be joining an elite group; more people have climbed Mount Everest than sailed around the world.