Belper firefighter completes Pacific voyage as part of the Clipper 2017-18 round the world race

Bex Sims, Belper Firefighter
Bex Sims, Belper Firefighter

A courageous firefighter from Belper has completed a gruelling five thousand mile yacht race across the Pacific Ocean.

Rebecca ‘Bex’ Sims, 38, took part in the month long race from Qingdao, China to Seattle,USA after winning a competition in Firefighter magazine.

The challenging journey was the North Pacific Ocean stage of the clipper 2017-18 round the world yacht race, which set offf from Liverpool on 20 August 2017.

The race takes teams around the world to Seattle via Uruguay, South Africa, Australia and China, and in total covers40,000 nautical miles.

Bex said: ”The waves were huge. On deck it was awe inspiring. It looked like a mountain range - the sheer size of the wall of water behind the stern was just unbelievable and took your breath away. It reminded me a little bit of Derbyshire where I’m from and our green rolling hills.”

She added: “Doing the clipper race has been similar to my work as a firefighter. The teamwork, looking after each other to stay safe, it has all made the transition to life on the ocean much easier. In some ways it’s been a home from home. “

Bex, along with a ten strong crew from United States, France, Canada, Romania and South Africa, battled hurricane force winds, with gusts of up to 80 knots battering their yacht.

The North Pacific leg of the race is known as ‘the big one’, due to the extreme weather and inhospitable conditions.

The closest humans woul have been the astronauts on the International Space Station at some points. of the race, as the area is so remote.