A FATHER and daughter have faced off in the world’s longest ocean race.
Sally Slack, 34, a biochemist, from Vyner Street, York, dared her father Robert, 62, from Cumbria, to join her in the Clipper Race.
Retired Mr Slack took up the challenge and father and daughter joined the race in New York earlier this month – but on rival vessels.
So while Sally signed on for the vessel PSP Logistics her dad took a bunk on board Qingdao.
They enjoyed a radio chat on Father’s Day – before Sally’s crew took the lead in the race across the north Atlantic.
Father and daughter have now completed the 2,800 mile crossing and are in Northern Ireland preparing for the penultimate leg to the Netherlands before heading for the finish in London.
Their adventure started 18 months ago when Sally told her father about her plans over a glass of wine or two.
She said: “To his severe disappointment he passed the crew interview and despite falling off the pontoon in one of his training weeks he passed all the Clipper Race requirements to become crew on Qingdao.
“I think he was secretly hoping to fail at one of the hurdles and have to sit and watch the race from the comfort of his armchair at home.
“But, being the kind of dad he is, he is here racing his daughter across the Atlantic.
“Every time I climb into my bunk I think of him doing the same.
“He happened to mention which bunk he was allocated to when I saw him on the morning of race start.
“I have been allocated to the identical bunk on PSP Logistics.”
The event is the only one which allows people from all walks of life, regardless of previous sailing experience, to race around the world under sail.
A pre-race training course ensures even the most novice mariner is equipped with the skills to master one of the stripped-down Clipper 70-foot yachts.