Rugby players Craig Forsyth and Ollie Phillips revel in Clipper Race experience
By Dev Trehan
Last Updated: 15/07/14 1:54pm
Former York City Knights player Craig Forsyth says circumnavigating the globe during the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race has helped him truly appreciate what rugby league has given him.
The 43-year-old completed for Team Invest Africa in all 16 legs of the 11-month race which ended after 40,000 miles of ocean racing in London on Saturday.
Forsyth participated in the race to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Research and rugby charities the Try Assist Benevolent Fund and the Steve Prescott Foundation.
"The challenge of sailing around the world was a wonderful experience and made me realise how competitive I still am," Forsyth told Sky Sports.
"It made me realise how rugby league changed my life. It's me given some really, really good core values, really good strength to dig deep when times are tough and really good ability to work in and lead a team.
"Rugby league stopped me from being a lot of things and it made me a lot of good things. If anybody wants to get their kids into the sport they should encourage them every step of the way."
Former England Sevens rugby captain Ollie Phillips also competed in the Round the World Race and admitted the experience will last with him for a lifetime.
"The challenges you face from this race are 24/7, never-ending, on a rugby field, it’s 80 minutes,” the former Gloucester and Stade Francais utility back said.
"I love my sport but I’ve definitely found a new one and I’ll cherish it for the rest of my life.
"My crew were great people, absolutely amazing. You go through some really tough times and you pull together and develop some really great friendships.
"When we started out we were cabin boys and we have turned out as professional sailors. I feel honoured and privileged to have had them as crew mates."