NAME: Emily Dixon
OCCUPATION: Operations Director, Jeweller/Former Trapeze Artist
LEGS: The USA Coast-to-Coast Leg 7
“I'm not sure I really knew what sailing was until I did my Clipper Race training” says Emily Dixon, who is looking forward to taking part in The USA Coast-to-Coast Leg 7 next Spring.
Emily, who specialised in the doubles trapeze as part of her degree in Circus Arts, has previously experienced sailing on a Tall Ship in Antarctica. Although well acquainted with gruelling training sessions, the Clipper Race has proved to be a big test, though a rewarding one for the Operations Director who lives in London.
“I've had some real ups and downs during training and the biggest battles have been with myself. I'm not very patient when I'm not getting something and my body has let me down on more than one occasion through seasickness!”
Speaking about her past as a trapeze artist, Emily says: “I stopped performing after the 2012 Olympics. I had worked on the torch relay so travelled the whole of the UK. I did so many backflips during that time - I really wish I'd counted!
“After that I felt that I needed some stability so I now work as the Operations Director for a small jewellery company in Hatton Garden. We sell mostly engagement rings and wedding bands; it's a really special time in our clients lives that we get to be part of.”
Speaking about using her circus skills on board, Emily explains: “I went up the mast on the last morning of my Level 4 Training and I could have stayed there all day. It was so peaceful up there. My circus training has made me physically strong and aware so I understand that technique is as important as brute strength and try to bring this onto the boat where I can.
“The fact that I'm not scared of heights is a bonus! I've met a few people along my training that were really scared to go anywhere up high. I try to reassure them by saying that I'll happily go up the mast any day but if you see me trying to cook rice for 20 people I'm a quivering wreck!
“Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and for me that's what makes the Clipper Race awesome. Everyone has something to bring to the table.”
Reflecting on her Clipper Race journey so far, Emily comments: "All of the Skippers and Mates have been great and although I still have a lot to learn, I can't believe how much knowledge I have gained.
“The sense of achievement after each week of training is huge and I don't stop talking about it for weeks! A proper highlight for me was at the end of Level 2 Training when someone made a sailing joke that I actually understood!”
When it comes to her hobbies, it is clear why the USA Coast-to-Coast Leg 7 stood out for Emily.
“I'm a big animal fan, particularly of whales. I like to travel around and see different species and that's one of the reasons I choose the USA Coast-to-Coast Leg 7 as it is the first part is on a major whale migration route so I expect to see one with my binoculars!”
In addition to her love of animals, Emily classes high-diving and quilt making as her hobbies. Emily is also a massive Beyoncé fan – so Team Greenings will know what to expect on the playlists when she joins the team in April next year!
“I can't wait to spend longer at sea with my crew. We got to know each other during the amazing team building weekend and level 4 training. I know that together we are capable of so much.”
Emily has the full support of her friends and family ahead of her adventure. She says: “My family and friends are really supportive although I don't think they fully understand the drive behind wanting to do it.
“One of my closest friends is moving to Seattle so will be there when my leg starts and I'm hopeful that my dad will make it to New York to see me arrive.”
There is still time to join Emily and over 710 other Clipper 2017-18 Race crew during the Asia Pacific Leg 5 and Mighty Pacific Leg 6, and applications are also now open for the 2019-20 edition of the race. If you think you have what it takes to race across the world’s oceans, apply for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
We’re supporting every child in danger with race Charity Partner Unicef UK. Make a donation and help us beat our fundraising target of £400,000.