July 11, 2017
the 12 skippers, Diane four from left
Diane Reid, Toronto sailor and member of Ashbridges’ Bay Yacht Club has been appointed the first female Canadian skipper in the world’s longest ocean race, the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, which takes more than 10 months to complete.
This year, the Clipper team received 200 skipper applications from all over the world. organizers invited selected candidates to England for a stressful three-day, on-the-water interview in October. From there, they picked the final 12.
image caption: the 12 skippers, Diane four from left
The position is paid, with Reid receiving 30,000 pounds (approx. $56,000) for 12 months of work, money that will be hard-earned over the coming months.
The Clipper Race’s website describes it as one of the biggest challenges of the natural world and an endurance test like no other. With no previous sailing experience necessary, it’s a record breaking 40,000 nautical mile race around the world on a 70-foot ocean racing yacht.
The brainchild of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world, the event is now on its eleventh edition.
Divided into eight legs and 14 to 16 individual races, you can choose to complete the full circumnavigation or select individual legs. It is the only race in the world where the organizers supply a fleet of twelve identical racing yachts, each with a fully qualified skipper to safely guide the crew.
Normally the domain of seasoned pros, this supreme challenge is taken on by ordinary, everyday people. Having completed a rigorous training course, participants are suited and booted in the latest extreme protection gear to commence the race of their lives – an unparalleled challenge where taxi drivers rub shoulders with chief executives, vicars mix with housewives, students work alongside bankers, and engineers team up with rugby players.