Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race searching for skippers

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston with Chris Stanmore-Major on board Spartan
Clipper 13-14 ninth edition of the biennial event, operated by Clipper Ventures Plc, is the world's longest yacht race.

With Clipper 09-10 skipper Chris Stanmore-Major’s recent return from solo success in the Velux 5 Oceans race, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has launched his search for 12 elite skippers to take on the challenge of leading a team of non-professional sailors in the Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race. At 40,000 miles the race will take nearly 12 months to complete and the prestigious and challenging role of Clipper Race skipper has launched the professional sailing careers of some of today’s top yachtsmen and women.

Stepping ashore having arrived back in the UK on board his Open 60, Spartan, the same yacht on which Sir Robin Knox-Johnston circumnavigated in the previous edition of the Velux 5 Oceans, Chris Stanmore-Major acknowledged that he wouldn’t have been able to take on a solo round the world challenge without the Clipper Race.

'All of the things that I learnt on the Clipper Race with regards to meteorology, navigation, fixing every part of a boat inside and out, medical incidents etc, came together to give me the rounded skill set I needed to take on the challenge of going solo around the world. It also gave me a background of working with the media and sponsors - a major aspect of Open 60 racing that a lot of those who want to be involved don’t appreciate. The Clipper Race was an introduction to world class ocean racing in a way that you just can’t get in any other organisation.

'You get the full support of Clipper Ventures in all aspects and it has been the best possible move for me,' he added. 'I would not be where I am today without the Clipper Race.'

Successful candidates will have the opportunity of being the first to circumnavigate on board a brand new fleet of stripped out ocean racing yachts which are currently being built for Clipper 13-14. Potential skippers need to have the correct level of qualifications, including an RYA Ocean Yachtmaster and they need to be excellent sailors who put seamanship and safety first, have a proven track record in sail training and can demonstrate that they are strong team leaders.

Sir Robin says, 'Tackling this unique challenge, with its roaring gales and towering seas, as well as the frustrations of tricky calm spells, is no mean feat. The skippers we are looking for need to be up to the challenge of competitively racing the new fleet of 70-foot yachts around the world with a non-professional crew on board.

'The successful individuals must have the ability to draw the line between competitiveness and safety, whilst also motivating a sometimes exhausted crew into an enthusiastic and committed team.

'Leading a team of novice sailors in a race around the world is one of the hardest and most challenging jobs that any skipper could ever undertake and not everybody is up to this challenge.'

If you think you are up for the challenge and have the right characteristics and experience contact Sir Robin by email on sirrobinknoxjohnston@clipper-ventures.com to request an application form.

Chris says, 'The Clipper Race is, from a skipper’s point of view, the ultimate sail training challenge. You take people who know very little about sailing and are wide eyed about the opportunity to cross an ocean and develop them into crew who can go on and do anything. Some of my crew are now Yachtmasters running their own boats, some of them are working for the Clipper Ventures as mates and one lady has been my shore manager for Velux 5 Oceans. They all come from completely different backgrounds and so having the opportunity to do this as a sail trainer is an incredible challenge and also extremely rewarding.'

Clipper Round the World website