SPECIAL REPORT: Sailing all over the world

August 15, 2016

Less than two weeks ago, search the Clipper Race ended after a 40,000 nautical mile circumnavigation of the globe. LMAX Exchange, skippered by Frenchman Olivier Cardin, was confirmed as winner of the tenth edition of the event, after sailing around the world for 11 months.

The Clipper Race, a partner of iSportconnect, is an endurance test like no other. The organisers supply a fleet of twelve identical racing yachts, each with a fully qualified skipper to safely guide the crew.

With no previous sailing experience necessary, all the competitors can sail around the world if they choose to stay the whole course. Or they can select individual legs to sail 

Ashley Skett, skippered the Garmin team who finished fourth in the standings and will be skippering the iSportconnect Regatta on the 16th September.

He explained the greatest challenges of the Clipper Race:

“On the Clipper Race, the most difficult challenge is to manage the crew and the different personalities and to make sure everyone gets a good experience, that the way the boat is run is balanced. So that everyone that wants to race and those who don’t get, an experience to remember.”

“The challenge of the Round the World Race is ambitious, it’s a great thing to sail around the world – not many people have done it. I’d say it is a great highlight of my career and the top of my profession to be honest, it was a great opportunity for me and I’m glad I’ve done it.”

“It helped me to build on my experience as a leader and it was great to be able to build it as part of my career.”

With such a tough endurance challenge, the training involved is crucial, with potentially hazardous conditions and a team to look after.


“In the Round the World Race itself Clipper offers four weeks training is needed, to get everyone up to the standard where the crew are happy to take you round the world – which is what clipper have decided is the minimum experience you need.”

Skett was keen to point out the exciting challenges and opportunities offered by taking part in the iSportconnect Regatta.

“I guess the Clipper Yachts for the Regatta are not lightweight performance yachts but they are based around that idea. These are built to be tough and built to last. These are designed to race in any environment and any weather around the world.”

“But they need to be sailed and they need to be sailed properly. There’s not cutting corners with these boats – it’s hard work from the deck crew to keep the yacht racing hard. Moving round the boats can be a challenge, let alone the sailing! It’s a great boat for entry-level sailors to learn how to sail in any environment.”

“From our point of view, we can sail in pretty much anything, I’ve sailed in hurricane force conditions – so I know these boats are tried and tested!”

While it’s unlikely that we will get hurricane force conditions for the event, Skett finished with some reassuring words.

“To go out in the Solent with a safety briefing in the morning and with a professional crew on board – like the Regatta, then it can’t go wrong really!”

Ash Skett, will be a skipper for the iSportconnect Regatta which takes place on the 16th September, sign up as a team or an individual via iscregatta.com

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