By: Andy Hill, Digital Marketing, Xerox Europe

When I first heard the name “Clipper*” I thought of the Los Angeles based basketball team, but actually it’s also the name of the world’s longest round the world yacht race.  The race offers the opportunity for non-professional sailors , like Xerox’s  Janet Webberley , the chance  to compete.  On July 31 2011, Janet’s yacht, Visit Finland, and nine other 68-foot yachts and 450 crew members, embarked on 40,000 miles of ocean racing.   Janet will compete in the Rio to Cape Town leg 2 in September.

On land Janet is a mother of two, working as the Creative Services & Technology Manager in our Creative Design & Language Services team in the UK.  At sea, she’ll log over 3,390 miles in the race from Brazil to South Africa as crew member and assistant Quarter Master for “Visit Finland”.

So, aside from Janet’s connection, when you think of ocean racing, do you think of documents, waterproof race charts or digital printing? Quite separate from Janet’s involvement, Xerox is a global partner of Clipper Ventures’ Clipper Round the World Yacht Race , working behind-the-scenes to produce the sponsorship and event packs, and day-to-day racing charts.

I spoke with Jonathan Levy at Clipper Ventures who tells me that before working with Xerox, Clipper Ventures used long, offset print runs, which meant stacks of documents that couldn’t be updated once printed.  Xerox is now delivering documents on demand, keeping race materials up-to-date – and even personalised for special events.

According to Levy, “Our collaboration with Xerox allows us to focus on organising and delivering a world-class, global event with the assurance that our print management is taken care of.”

So for me this makes it feel special, helping an organization concentrate on doing what they do best – running a global yacht race that changes people’s lives, and watching it change the life of one of our own.  As part of the training, Janet has already encountered freezing temperatures, high winds, power cuts and sleep deprivation! And she still wants to do this life changing challenge.

We’ll be adding Janet’s story next month and you can keep abreast of the Round the World Clipper Race,  on Twitter and on YouTube.  Read more on Xerox’s partnership with Clipper Ventures at: http://www.xerox.com/clipper.

What extraordinary challenge have you considered or done?   Tell us your stories we’d love to know what floats your boat!

* The name Clipper comes from the original Tea Clippers which ruled the waves 150 years ago, racing to deliver their precious cargo of Tea to London.