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Yorkshire Sailor Chosen as Skipper For World’s Largest Ocean Race

16 MARCH 2017

Roy Taylor, 47, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, has been named as one of twelve skippers who will lead a team in the 40,000 nautical mile Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race, which starts in August.

A former Royal Air Force Weapons Technician, Roy has spent the past decade as a sailing instructor in both the UK and Germany. Most recently he has been working with young people from the Marine Society and Sea Cadets of the United Kingdom’s training brig, the TS Royalist.

On his appointment, Roy says: “While the Clipper Race is a contest, it’s also an exercise in bringing people from different backgrounds together and moulding them into a strong, safe, efficient and competitive team.”

“My experience in putting together 24 young people into a team, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and potential conflicts and tensions on TS Royalist will be invaluable throughout my Clipper Race campaign.”

Founded in 1996 by William Ward and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo, non-stop around the world, the Clipper Race is the only event which allows amateurs the opportunity to become ocean racers and face Mother Nature in the most remote locations on the planet.

Roy got the inspiration to apply for the Clipper Race after taking part in the Exercise Transglobe, a round the world yacht race crewed by personnel from the RAF, Army and Navy, in 1998 and 2004.

“Ten year’s working on RAF fast jet squadrons and several overseas deployments, including time serving in an operational theatre in Kuwait which earned him a General Service Medal (Air Operations Iraq), have prepared Roy for the huge physical and mental challenge of the Clipper Race.

He explained: “You need a great deal of flexibility to meet the challenging, and often changing, flying program. The same sort of attitude is needed at sea, especially when in charge of a large, inexperienced crew in some of the toughest conditions on earth.”

Speaking on the Skipper selection process, Sir Robin said: “The role of Clipper Race Skipper is one of the toughest, but most rewarding jobs that exists in sailing. Not only do you have to be a highly capable sailor to be able to complete the relentless challenge of circumnavigation, you also have to be an excellent instructor and leader.

“I wish Roy and his team the best in their Clipper 2017-18 Race campaign.”

The eleventh edition of this unique biennial ocean race will visit six continents and include six ocean crossings. Almost 5000 novices have been turned into ocean racers throughout the Clipper Race’s 20-year history, though still more people have climbed Mount Everest than circumnavigated the globe.

Twelve teams compete on the world’s largest matched fleet of 70-foot ocean racing yachts. Crew come from all walks of life and from all around the world, with over 40 different nationalities represented. Crew can complete the full circumnavigation, or one or more of the eight legs that make up the Clipper Race.

The Clipper 2017-18 Race will begin in the UK this summer and return almost a year later. The team with the highest total points at the finish wins the Clipper Race Trophy.