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Poole sailor to take over from injured skipper in Clipper World Race

by Chris Harris / Clipper Ventures on 13 Sep
Greenings team in the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race Clipper Ventures
Andy Woodruff, 41, from Poole, Dorset, has been appointed as the interim Skipper for the Greenings team in the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race, one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet.

Joining the team in Punta del Este, Uruguay, at the end of September, Andy will provide relief cover for Skipper David Hartshorn who was subject to a helicopter medevac during the opening leg of the race following a serious hand injury.

On his new role, Andy, who already has over 60,000 nautical miles in his log-book, commented: “It is a great honour to be joining such a prestigious global event as the Clipper Race. My aim is to continue the fantastic work that David Hartshorn has started on board Greenings. It is clear his team has placed an impressive emphasis on its personal development, which is something I have also valued very highly in my own sailing career.

“I believe it is important that the crew get the most out of this experience as possible, not just on the leaderboard but also within themselves, though of course I am keen to get them as many points as possible in the process. My aim is to contribute to producing a team that is as happy to go sailing as they are to come ashore.”

The Clipper Race is the only event of its kind in the world which trains everyday people to become ocean racers. Only the Skipper on board each of the twelve teams is professional.

Having grown in popularity over the years, 712 international crew members will take part in this edition and with over 40 different nationalities represented on the race, this is the biggest yet of its eleven editions.

Andy is well-known on the international sailing scene having trained with the GBR Challenge for the Americas Cup in 2001/02 with Skipper, Ian Walker. He has also operated his own 63ft charter sailing company for eight years in the British Virgin Islands, where he was also capped as an international rugby player. For the past eleven months he has been running Training and Event courses at the Clipper Race’s Gosport, Hampshire, HQ.



On Andy’s appointment, Clipper Race Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail single handed, non-stop, around the world in 1968-69, said: “Stepping in as an interim Skipper once a team has already been performing together is perhaps an added challenge, but Andy Woodruff has fully embraced this opportunity to lead the Greenings team until David Hartshorn is well enough to return.

“We all wish David a speedy recovery. In the meantime, I’m confident that Andy will do an excellent job, and myself and my team will fully support him in his role.”

The Clipper 2017-18 Race started from Liverpool, UK, on Sunday 20 August and will take approximately eleven months to complete, taking in six continents and crossing 40,000 nautical miles of the world’s major oceans.

The race route is split into eight separate legs. Leg 2, the 3,560Nm South Atlantic Challenge, from Uruguay to Cape Town, will start on 4 October 2017 and will take approximately 17 days to complete.

From Cape Town, the Clipper Race will continue on to Fremantle, Western Australia; Sydney; Hobart; the Whitsundays; Sanya and Qingdao in China; Seattle, USA; Panama; New York; and Derry Londonderry, before returning to Liverpool on 28 July, 2018.

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