Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring One Design

Praxes Medical Group supports Clipper Round the World crews

by Nicole Trask on 20 Jun 2014
Race 14 Day 7: Ice gate moved south as Great Britain spots growler Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race
When British yachtsman Simon Talbot was chosen to skipper the Great Britain yacht in the renowned Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, he anticipated an 'irresistible challenge.' High seas, remote locations and dramatic weather are all part of the daily rigours Clipper crews face. With the excitement of navigating the open ocean comes the real possibility of getting ill or hurt a long way from any help. Enter Praxes Medical Group, a Halifax-based company that provides medical support to the race 24 hours a day.

Established in 1997, Praxes is on-call for clients such as the Canadian Navy, the Coast Guard, the oil and gas industry, mine sites and even Mount Everest climbing teams. Using satellite phones and customized software, emergency-medical professionals are available to guide clients. Praxes CEO Susan Helliwell and partner and husband Doctor John Ross started the company out of their home, initially at their kitchen table, with four other doctors after answering a request for proposal to provide medical support for the Sable offshore oil and gas industry.

Today, Praxes employs approximately 50 medical professionals across the country: doctors, paramedics, nurses and physicians’ assistants. According to Praxes vice-president of marketing, John Hockin, the current work with Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is a natural fit. Since the partnership with Clipper is a sponsorship, it’s an opportunity for Praxes to showcase their services to the world.

'We like to think that small businesses can do huge things,' says Hockin. 'The partnership with Clipper is part of that business strategy to think big and we hang on tight to our mission to improve health-care delivery while simultaneously reducing cost and risk.'

The Praxes team receives calls from Clipper crews for many reasons. Crew suffer bumps and bangs in rough seas. Not every situation is an emergency, but it’s reassuring to have a doctor at the ready to answer medical questions. Praxes guarantees a response within five minutes at any time.

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the longest ocean race in the world, covering 64,380 kilometres, six continents and sixteen ports over the duration of eleven months. Each of the 12 21-metre ocean racing yachts carry up to 24 crew members (no sailing experience required) per race leg with a professional skipper. The Clipper 2013–14 race left from Tower Bridge, London in September and Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, Singapore, San Francisco and New York are all part of the spectacular route.

The crew are diverse (film directors, students, truck drivers, veterinarians and nurses) aging from 18 to 74. The Great Britain crew have used Praxes many times. 'There have been many tough times and that’s where Praxes comes in,' Talbot says via satellite phone off the coast of Singapore. 'You get through to someone who is very qualified very quickly.'

One of those tough times occurred when the Great Britain was sailing from Cape Town, South Africa to Albany, Australia. They experienced a 'knock-down' when a big wave hit the side of the yacht, tumbling one crewman around the cockpit like a loose pea in a pod. He hit a winch with a sickening thud, before sprawling flat, apparently knocked out. Some 2,400 kilometres from land, the crew called Praxes for help.

'It was a shocking and scary experience,' says Talbot. 'We were worried that he’d hurt one of his kidneys but luckily he was just very bruised and a bit delirious. He didn’t have any serious injuries but we had no way of knowing this at the time. So, to have someone methodically go through with you on the phone what to check and look out for at that time and over the next few days is very useful, indeed.'

According to Ross, it’s often simply reassuring and calming to have a doctor a phone call away. 'We often receive calls when people are at that T-junction of trying to figure out what to do next,' says Ross. 'So, instead of biting their nails and worrying, they just call us. It’s having the option to speak to an emergency physician and ask if a symptom is normal. We get a wide range of calls, it’s not just the screaming emergencies. It’s talking them through and then getting to hear that sigh of relief.'

Before the race began, Praxes provided medical training to the skippers in London. They have the background medical information on those crewmembers willing to provide it and know what’s on board each yacht’s medical chest. Praxes also provides in-port clinics with Skype so crew can have virtual doctor’s appointments.

According to Talbot, the Great Britain crew have called Praxes at least a dozen times with ailments ranging from enflamed elbows and dislocated shoulders to skin boils and hard knocks. For Talbot, the measure of success of this service is the dependability and consistency provided.

'Across the fleet, every yacht has called Praxes but we’ve had a lot of incidents and we’ve called more than most,' says Talbot. 'They have always got back to us within a couple minutes. Honestly, I think the race would be a bit lost without this service.'

At the end of the Clipper race, the measure of success for Praxes will be whether or not they have cut down on hospital visits for crew members, saved the race additional expenses and helped to decrease insurance costs. But for Ross, simply being there to help has been a rewarding experience.

'It’s been a spectacularly positive experience so far,' he says. 'I got to travel to London before the race to provide training and it was inspiring to meet all the skippers and crew members from different backgrounds who are chasing their dreams. For Praxes to be a part of that is truly amazing.'

Lancer 40 yearsBIA 2016 Sydney Boat Show 660x82Barz Optics - Melanin Lenses

Related Articles

Collinson FX Market Commentary - July 29 - Italy sweats on stress test
This took the shine off the recent rally in the NZD which slipped back to 0.7060 The JPY remains firm, trading around 105.25, in preparation. Commodity demand was slack on the energy and agricultural front, while metals eked out some gains. This took the shine off the recent rally in the NZD which slipped back to 0.7060, while the AUD continued to toy with the 0.7500 mark.
Posted today at 1:52 am
New Mercury 9.9hp outboard the lightest in class - with electric start
New model is not only easier to lift and carry than competitive products, its compact design means it’s simple to handle Weighing in from just 26kg (57lbs), the new 169cc model is not only easier to lift and carry than competitive products, its compact design means it’s simple to handle.
Posted on 29 Jul
Weego announces new jump starter perfect for marine market
Weego, innovator of portable jump starters and rechargeable battery packs, announced the launch of Weego Jump Starter 44 Weego, innovator of portable jump starters and rechargeable battery packs, today announced the launch of Weego Jump Starter 44 – an all-new portable jump starter that redefines the industry with unique technological features never seen before in the market.
Posted on 29 Jul
Ainslie's America's Cup challenge boosted
The lifejackets Ainslie's crew are wearing during their pursuit of the trophy, have been put through rigorous testing. In an unprecedented move in sailing, the lifejackets Ainslie's Land Rover BAR crew are wearing during their pursuit of the sport's most prestigious trophy, have been put through rigorous wind tunnel testing.
Posted on 29 Jul
North Sails showcase new loft on Shore but retain Westhaven presence
North Sails NZ have opened a new loft in Archers Road on Auckland's North Shore. North Sails NZ have opened a new loft in Archers Road on Auckland's North Shore. The move is the fifth for the near 40year iconic sailmaker, and the design and layout of the new loft represents a marked break with sailmaking traditions and practices.
Posted on 29 Jul
Bali attracts early interest
Interest in the 2017 Bali adventure, even at this early stage, is encouraging. Interest in the 2017 Bali adventure, even at this early stage, is encouraging. At first, the 2017 race and rally retains its traditional route to Benoa but from there it offers greater attractions than ever with the inclusion of an extension to the Javanese port of Banyuwangi and an organised “Spice Islands Rally”, a one-week circumnavigation of the island of Bali.
Posted on 29 Jul
FUSION® releases powerful remote controller
FUSION® announced the release of wired remote controller for compatible FUSION marine entertainment systems – MS-NRX300. FUSION®, a worldwide leader in lifestyle entertainment, announced today the release of a new feature-packed wired remote controller for compatible FUSION marine entertainment systems – the MS-NRX300. The new NMEA 2000 certified wired remote is an out-of-the-box solution that adds localized entertainment control to any vessel.
Posted on 29 Jul
Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show grows Thai boating market
Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show the one and only boating and lifestyle showcase in the Gulf of Thailand. Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show returns for a fifth year with the largest display of boats and lifestyle products yet. Held from 24 – 27 November 2016 at Ocean Marina in Pattaya, Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show has been a catalyst for the Gulf of Thailand's marine industry promoting the onshore facilities and offshore cruising grounds worldwide.
Posted on 29 Jul
2016 Hamilton Island Race Week - Best accommodation deals
Have you booked your accommodation for Hamilton Island Race Week 2016? Have you booked your accommodation for Hamilton Island Race Week 2016? Due to some last minute cancellations we still have some great properties available!
Posted on 28 Jul
Boating Syndication Australia to unveil largest-ever display at SIBS
The highlight of the display will be the first on-water display in Australia of the Fibrafort F400 Gran Coupe. The highlight of the display will be the first on-water display in Australia of the Fibrafort F400 Gran Coupe - all the way from Brazil. According to BSA's Andrew Young, the Fibrafort F400 is perhaps the best-built 40-foot cruisers since the Riviera M400 was released.
Posted on 28 Jul