It’s an enormous achievement for two amateur sailors from the South Hams.

Pippa Jephcott, 45, from Yelverton and William Ackerley, 22, from Thurlestone, have raced 5,500nm across the world’s largest ocean, the North Pacific, from Qingdao, China, to Seattle, USA, in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

Known to be one of the most inhospitable environments on earth, the North Pacific leg of the global race is known as ‘The Big One’. It earns this title due to the extreme weather, which includes freezing temperatures and high waves, but also because it is the most remote ocean crossing on the Clipper Race circuit.

It is devoid of land mass and at certain points, the closest other humans are astronauts on the International Space Station. 

For Pippa, who’s day job is Head of Learning and Organisational Development, the arrival in Seattle marks the end of her Clipper Race, having joined in Fremantle, Australia, and competed in Legs 4, 5 and 6 of the global circuit, she said: “I joined the Clipper Race with an ambition to cross an ocean, so the Pacific leg was really the culmination of my journey

For William, who is completing the entire circumnavigation with the team Qingdao, the arrival in Seattle was made extra special as the team battled to clinch second place.

Will is now three quarters of the way around the world. He said “It feels pretty nice, and like we are on the downhill stretch home, but it has been an insane journey.”