But along with the challenges came moments of joy. "You might be sitting up on deck and hear this whistling sound and it's a pod of dolphins or whales or giant sea turtles," Brbora said.
For self-confessed "ballsy" sailor Blair, her favorite memory was of gliding down waves the size of four-storey buildings in the Southern Ocean. "It's agony because it's so cold; around 3 degrees Celsius (37 Farenheit). But here you are surfing down the face of these mountains of water," she reminisced.
The clipper race was a life-changing adventure for both Blair and Brbora. After all, why stress about a late train or rainy weather when you've survived the most brutal waves on the planet?
"Not many people can say they've sailed around the world," Brbora said. "It's made me realize you shouldn't be afraid of things and it's definitely given me more confidence."
Blair, whose boat won the race, now teaches sailing professionally and hopes to again sail around the world -- this time on her own.
"I've started living my life by the quote: 'Just do, because the world is changed by doers,'" she said. "You're not going to change the world by sitting on the couch watching TV."