Tristan Grigalis.jpg
Jul 2014

Mid Race 15 from Derry-Londonderry to Den Helder we touched base with our youngest round the worlder, Tristan Grigalis from the UK, following his nomination for the Henri Lloyd Clipper Race Seamanship Award.

Congratulations, you have been nominated for the Henri Lloyd Clipper Race Seamanship Award for being an exemplary crew member who has a 'holistic' understanding of the boat and goes to 'extremes' for the crew and yacht. What does this nomination mean to you and how do you think the experience/skills you have gained/lessons learned over the last 11 months will benefit you in the future.

Generally speaking I don't think I go to extremes but it’s all relative to how you perceive your limits. I certainly do things on the boat that others aren't so keen to do but if it’s a job that's got to be done then I'll be ready to do it when it’s required of me. It’s kind of like going to your job albeit maybe more enjoyable. You do what you have to do and then more to get yourself noticed and promoted. With regards to having a good understanding of the boat, I personally think that is a requirement of being watch leader and also being a responsible seaman. It’s not much good getting you and the boat into a pickle and not being able to get yourself out of it. Generally speaking I know how to handle most drastic situations on the boat so far, which I've proved on a good few occasions. Just gotta do what you gotta do.

It’s good to know that people do actually appreciate and notice the work that I try to put into the boat. I try never to step down from a job and it appears that hasn't gone unnoticed which I'm really happy about.

Living on a boat with up to 20 people on board is hard work let me assure you. I think that has been my hardest lesson. Just getting on with people; that is a struggle occasionally and you might have to be patient with them and explain things to them a few times. I thought I had people skills before but I know now that not to be entirely the case. You have to let things go more easily and get on with people. It’s like Big Brother on here but kind of worse because it’s not a house, it’s a 70-foot yacht and tensions can be high.

Tell us a bit about some of your favourite moments of the race; at the helm, meal on board, adrenalin blast, stopover, sightseeing trip, welcome, departure and lasting memory that will be with you forever?

Ah there's bunches of good moments. Surfing down big waves is always cool for an hour of blasting until you realise you’re actually knackered and don't want to be doing it for the whole of the afternoon. There have been some good meals as well. I'll never forget cooking a gammon Joint with Patrick O'Connell on Leg 2. That was insane and people loved it. We had a guy on this Leg who did Leg 2 as well and he reminded me of that.

Stopovers have been a hard one. There’s never enough time to see the things you want and get a feel for a place but I’m sure I’ll go back to some of the cooler places I've seen to enjoy them.

Derry-Londonderry was by far the best stopover for me. The people there were lovely and I even got to go to the beach for an awesome fish and chips at Portrush. It was made even better to have friends and family there to have a blast with. The best bit will be coming back into London to see what awaits us there.