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Harrogate man leads yacht race around the world after arriving in Australia

Birstwith resident Sean McPartland and his team 'Dare to Lead' have arrived in Australia as part of their 40,000-mile race around the world.

Harrogate man leads yacht race around the world after arriving in Australia A Harrogate man and his team have arrived in Australia and now lead their 40,000-mile yacht race around the world. 53-year-old Birstwith resident Sean McPartland is taking on the ‘Clipper Round The World Race’ on a 70-foot ocean racing yacht. He is part of team ‘Dare to Lead’, which arrived at Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club on Tuesday (2nd January) after the third of their eight leg journey. The team were second to arrive in Australia, taking them into first place overall. It’s all part of the Clipper Round the World Race - a 40,000 mile journey from the UK to South America, divided into eight legs and between 13 and 16 individual races including six ocean crossings. [caption id="attachment_95197" align="aligncenter" width="768"] Sean McPartland and the 'Dare to Lead' crew got into the festive spirit.[/caption] Writing on his blog, Sean spoke of his journey throughout the Christmas period and receiving emotional messages and gifts from family. He said:

“I thought I would phone home and got to speak to Kathleen and the kids which was good, but eventually emotions got to me like I have never felt before. “I was given a parcel for Christmas when I left Cape Town so proceeded to open it to hopefully cheer me up. It was 3am Christmas morning after all. “There were loads of cards from my dear friends back home and one from Kathleen and each of the kids which was lovely. “I got a photo album with pictures going back from when we were married, when the kids were little to more recent, with some of the places we have been to. It was the best possible present I could receive and at that time, I did shed a few tears!”
Christmas lunch was served on deck for the crew of Dare to Lead and the boat was adorned in Christmas decorations throughout their journey. Speaking about taking the lead in the race, Sean said:
“We are nearly half way round the world in one of the most prestigious yacht races in the planet and we are winning! “It has been incredibly tough so far and I don’t see it getting any easier as the pressure is on. “But as a team Dare to lead by a solid, committed, driven and very competitive. Whatever happen we will give it 120% and some more.”
Leg 3 saw them travel from South Africa to West Australia, across 5,500 miles throughout November and December. The next leg will see the crew travel 4,000 miles across the Australian coast. Sean said:
"I personally want to thank everyone for their messages and support - you have no idea how much that means to me. "I would also like to thank Richard and the Birstwith School children for their support and drawings that have been sent over, the crew love them. "Bertie the Birstwith school bear is still hanging in there but looking a bit weathered - as am I!"
You can track Sean's progress here. Sean is also fundraising for Unicef and his JustGiving page can be found here. [caption id="attachment_95196" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Shaun McPartland and the crew on the 'Dare to Lead' yacht.[/caption] Clipper Round the World Race The brainchild of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world, the first Clipper Race took place in 1996. Since then, almost 6,000 Race Crew from all walks of life and more than 60 nations have trained and raced in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. The route of each edition of the race is unique, often formed by Host Ports around the globe. In the race’s twenty five year history, more than fifty cities have played host to the Clipper Race. Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

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