Thetford man takes on round the world race

PUBLISHED: 15:53 08 October 2009 | UPDATED: 21:43 07 July 2010

AN ADVENTUROUS Thetford grandfather is set to start out on yet another challenge next month when he sets sail around the world racing a 68ft yacht with a crew of novices.

AN ADVENTUROUS Thetford grandfather is set to start out on yet another challenge next month when he sets sail around the world racing a 68ft yacht with a crew of novices.

Ken Jordan, 60, is joining about 400 others, many also total novices, taking part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, a 10 month gruelling challenge covering 35,000 miles at sea.

He will be crammed in team Hull and Humber's boat, one of 10 in the race fleet, along with about 19 others undergoing 24/7 sailing with no where to wash for weeks, bunks often at 45 degrees and constant dampness from inevitable leaks on board.

Shunning the every day comforts of life will come as no surprise to Mr Jordan, an agricultural contractor and trader in commodities who is taking part in three legs of the seven leg race.

In the past few years he has travelled across the Sahara, through Afghanistan and from the Khyber Pass past the Himalayas to Mongolia in four wheel drive cars.

He says he has a list of things he wants to do in his life - the only trouble is as he ticks one off more are added to it.

One of them soon to be ticked off is sailing the oceans.

He had seen the BT Challenger series of races in the 1990s but had forgotten about the idea after it stopped running - until a weekend in Liverpool in September 2007 which saw the start of the 2007-8 Clipper Race.

“I happened to be there so I picked up an application form,” he said. “By November I had signed up for three legs.

“It was something I had always looked at and would like to do.

“The thought of traversing all of those oceans - the Southern Ocean, Pacific and home leg across the Atlantic - presents a great challenge.

“In the 90s time and finances made it impossible. Now it's really the spirit of adventure and the realisation at 60 some of these things I need to do now.

“It would be nice to win but as long as we come in the top three I would be happy with that.”

His first leg of the race will start at Cape Town in late November, ending in western Australia in mid-December.

The second leg he is doing, leg 5, will start in Qingdao, China on March 2 and end in California in early April.

His final leg, the last leg of the race, will leave Jamaica on May 22 and end in Hull, at the end of the race, on about July 17.

The father of three and grandfather of three said he was not daunted by never having sailed before, being quite an adventurous grandfather.

But said his children were a little apprehensive for him. However, the grandchildren were wowed by the boats when they visited them by Hull.

And they will be able to watch their grandfather's progress around the world at and perhaps become future sailors themselves.

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