Ben is pushed to limits

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A thrill-seeking Freckleton explorer is almost half way round a “super hard” 40,000-mile yacht race.

Ben Pate, 30, of Memory Close, is currently in Brisbane, Australia, preparing to sail to Singapore as part of the Great Britain crew in the Clipper Round the World Race.

A test driver for Jaguar by trade, Ben and 20 other novices are under the direction of a professional skipper.

He said: “It’s been great so far, but really hard. People tell you about the Southern Ocean, that there’s waves the size of houses, and it’s exactly like that.

“I have been scared a few times. On one occasion the guy next to me on deck was hit by a wave, was knocked out and started turning blue.

“He was okay in the end, but it was an emotional time.”

He added: “I’ve been pushed to my limits, but you soon realise you can’t hide in the corner - you have to get on with it.”

Ben said one of the most difficult aspects of the trip is sleeping, as the crew work on a 24-hour watch system, where there is always six awake during the day and at least four during the night.

He added: “It’s a massive boost though to read the messages of support from home, so keep them coming.”

The race set off from London in September, and has already taken in France, Brazil, South Africa and Australia. Countries to come include Singapore, China, USA, Panama, Jamaica, New York, Ireland and the Netherlands.

Ben, who is deaf in one ear, hopes to raise £4,000 for Deafness Research UK. Visit