St Albans mother and daughter competing against each other in round-the-world Clipper Race

The Clipper Round the World Race

The Clipper Round the World Race

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If you are the type of person who would join a round-the-world yacht race, chances are you take winning extremely seriously.

Sophie Crocker (credit: onEdition)Sophie Crocker (credit: onEdition)

Imagine, then, competing in a round-the-world yacht race against a close family member.

That is exactly what St Albans mother-and-daughter duo Linda and Sophie Crocker will be doing in a little over a month’s time.

Sophie explained: “We are competitive but so far it’s been quite jokey, quite light-hearted.”

The pair will be on opposing teams as the Clipper Round the World race begins next month in London.

Linda Crocker (credit: onEdition)Linda Crocker (credit: onEdition)

Linda, 48, is racing in legs two and seven for Chinese team Qingdao while 18-year-old Sophie is racing in legs one, two, three, seven and eight for the South African team IchorCoal.

Linda said: “We’ve always been into motor-boating and started sailing on holiday, but last year when I saw the Clipper boats come in at St Katharine Docks in London, I just thought, ‘we have to do this’.

“It was so amazing – I wanted to be a part of it.”

Sophie recalls: “I wasn’t there last year but my mum phoned me and said ‘I’ve found your gap year’, so we looked into it.

“I spoke to a girl who did it last year and she said it was an amazing experience and I had to sign up.”

Initially, however, the pair had opposing views about which teams to join, according to Linda.

“I wanted to be on the same team but Sophie was adamant that we were going to be on opposing teams.

“I soon realised that I wanted to compete in the race as me, and not as Sophie’s mum, so we picked different teams.”

The Crockers will first compete in leg two of the race, which will see them sail the 3,500 nautical miles across the South Atlantic from Rio De Janeiro in Brazil to Cape Town in South Africa.

Their next head-to-head meeting will be on leg seven, a gruelling 7,100-mile journey starting in Seattle on the western coast, travelling south and through the Panama Canal and finishing in New York.

Although Sophie will also be relishing the opportunity to race against her mother, it is the first leg of the race she is most looking forward to.

She said: “I think the first leg from London to Rio will be amazing. It’ll be the first time I’ve crossed the equator, too, so I’m excited about that.”

The Clipper Round the World race begins on Sunday, August 30. Visit clipperroundtheworld.com for more information.

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