Race crew #reasontorace: Eve Ashforth
Human relationships are inherently powerful. For Eve Ashforth, this is proving to be the theme of her Clipper Race experience. Her mother, inspired by the awesome nature of the challenge, was about to sign up to the event when she found out she was pregnant with Eve. And when, years later, she told Eve about the race, her daughter inherited her dream of circumnavigating the globe, and seeing 40,000 nautical miles of the fairest and most treacherous oceanic conditions through her mother’s eyes.
- Name: Eve Ashforth
- Age: 28
- Occupation: A&E Nurse
- Nationality: British
- Hometown: York, UK
- Legs: Full Circumnavigation
It seems quite surreal, Eve commented, when asked about the race. “I took this challenge on, not only for me, but for my mother too.” And considering she, like 40% of the Clipper Race crew, had never set foot on a yacht before, this was no mean feat. “Many of my friends asked me if I had a boat or if I was already a great sailor. When I explained the reality, that I was a complete newcomer to the sport, they were somewhat shocked!”
While Eve professed to enjoying being outdoors and basking in nature, she acknowledged that the Clipper Race is a wildly different experience. Extreme conditions test morale to its limits, Eve hopes that the freedom of being out on the ocean with a group of people that start as strangers but become family, will buoy her spirits. “I was hugely surprised about how much I have learnt in such a short space of time,” she commented, having just finished part of her training, “but it was definitely not without its challenges. I have also been surprised by my ability to bond with people I don’t know and how amazing the human race is at taking care of one another. On a side note, I’d also been surprised at how well I could sleep at a 45-degree angle and how many different types of pasta dishes it was possible to create with only five ingredients.”
Like every Clipper Race crew member, Eve needs to pass four gruelling levels of Clipper Race Training before lining up for the start of the Clipper 2019-20 Race. Having completed two of the levels, Eve’s reflections on her experience have been centred on her process of adapting to life on-deck: “Considering I have never sailed before, Level 1 was a huge shock! Excuse the pun, but it was literally like being thrown in the deep end”. But while being new to sailing, Eve had always been a dab hand at immersing herself in a challenge, having spent three months living on a beach in Mexico learning to dive in order to monitor coral and fish species of the Yucatan Peninsula.
“I became a certified rescue diver during that time,” she comments, “and showering with a bucket is thankfully something that wasn’t new to me! These opportunities don’t always come around, so [when they do] I want to grab them with both hands!”
Musto, as the Official Technical Clothing Partner for the race, will be protecting sailors like Eve on their incredible journey around the globe. Over 8 legs, 6 ocean crossings and 40,000 nautical miles, Musto kit will keep them focused on creating memories to recount to proud friends and family at the end.