NAME: Greg Schey
LEGS: Round the World
“I’ve always wanted to sail around the world. Since I was knee high to a grasshopper, one thing that I’ve always said is that’s what I want to do.”
Greg Schey, a 27-year-old doctor from Swansea, Wales, is well on the road to achieving that dream, after completing the third of four sail training levels this week ahead of setting off for the full circumnavigation in the Clipper 2017-18 Race this summer.
The Clipper Race may be one of the world’s greatest ocean challenges, but Greg is more than up to it, given the tough test he has already faced in his life. At just seven years of age, he had to learn to walk again after undergoing brain surgery.
“I was born with part of my brain sticking through the base of my skull into the spinal cord, so when I was six I had corrective surgery,” says Greg.
“I guess it’s what pushed me into medicine. There’s that and seven years of being in plaster and physiotherapy. From age seven to fourteen is quite a critical stage in a young boy’s life.”
Rather than hold him back, Greg has gone on to live life to the full.
“Since a young age, I’ve always been out on my bicycle doing long rides, dinghy racing or going on long hikes so doing something endurance like, sailing wise, is not out of the ordinary for me.”
And through his eleven month, 40,000 nautical mile journey across the world’s oceans, Greg wants to use his medical skills and knowledge to make adventure a permanent part of his life.
“For me also it’s a career progression because what I want to do is be an expedition doctor, so what better place to start than to get experience on a year-long round the world expedition.”
“I do general medicine and emergency medicine, and when I get the opportunity to go on long hikes or treks in the mountains and be the medic, I do those too.”
Greg has just returned to shore after spending six days out on one of the twelve Clipper 70s doing his Level 3 training.
“[Level 3] was really good fun. The team gelled really nicely and it was great to get out and do some of the manoeuvres we hadn’t done too much of, practice man overboard and so on.”
“Helming with the spinnaker definitely [was the highlight]. It’s great fun to be coming downwind with that.”
In keeping with his adventurous spirit, Greg is most looking forward to the Southern Ocean Leg from South America to Cape Town. The Clipper Race fleet is expected to encounter some of the most testing conditions during that second leg, but that’s what Greg says makes it fun.
“It [the Southern Ocean] is what everyone says is terrifying and exhilarating in equal measure.”
Another positive about the Southern Ocean will be the chance to see his family members in Cape Town, with the rest of his circumnavigation also shaping up as a family affair.
“My family are really jealous.”
“They want to use the excuse [to travel] so I think my brother wants to fly to Western Australia and then cycle to Sydney to meet me there as well.”
Interested? The Clipper 2017-18 Race is filling up fast, with only limited opportunities now available to do both the full circumnavigation and individual legs. If you would like to join Greg and over 630 other crew members to face Mother Nature in all her glory across the world’s oceans, click here to apply.
(Image copyright Shona Davies)