The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race will witness British yachtsman Stuart Jackson take over as skipper of the De Lage Landen yacht which is currently in Rio de Janeiro at the end of the first leg from the UK.
Stuart, a 35-year-old Scot, who was born in Dubai and lives in Southampton, UK, has an impressive ocean racing pedigree, having skippered Barclays Adventurer to second place in the final Global Challenge Race in 2004-2005.
More recently Stuart has been involved in putting the Clipper 11-12 crews through their paces during the rigorous pre-race training programme.
He says, 'After being an integral part of the training of the Clipper 11-12 crew I feel that it is a natural progression to be a part of the experience. Having previously skippered an around the world race I feel I can help to drive and motivate a team in the right direction.'
Following Stuart’s success in his previous circumnavigation he went on to become Regional International Trade Director for Barclays and now marries his maritime career with his role as a professional development consultant, helping train corporate teams to reach their potential aboard his own 67-foot yacht.
As such he is a perfect match for the yacht partnered by De Lage Landen, the global provider of asset-based financing programmes which is leveraging its partnership with the team to launch a world-wide employee engagement programme. Inspired by the Clipper ethos, ‘Raced by People Like You’, De Lage Landen hopes that the way the race crew face challenges as one team will provide many inspiring examples in everyday practice.
Stuart Jackson - Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 2011-12 -
His favourite sailing moment is one where teamwork shone through. It was, 'Winning Leg one of the Global Challenge in Buenos Aires. The crew dynamic was amazing and will stay with me forever.'
It’s a memory he and his new crew, whom he is meeting today, will be hoping to emulate and add to over the course of the next ten months as he leads the international team around the 40,000-mile Clipper 11-12 course, the world’s longest yacht race.
As well as having rounded the feared Cape Horn, Stuart has crossed the Atlantic eight times, one of those single handed in a 28-foot yacht. It was during that crossing from the Caribbean, via the Azores, to his homeland of Scotland that he had his most frightening experience at sea.
'I went through an electrical storm and was very worried about my GPS as the only electronics I had on board were that and a VHF radio. So I put my GPS in a saucepan in the oven in case we were hit by lightning; Farraday’s Box Effect, I believe from my physics lessons,' says Stuart, who graduated from Aberdeen University with a degree in Chemistry.
Stuart joins De Lage Landen in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, ahead of the start of Race 3 of Clipper 11-12. He replaces Mat Booth who was skipper for the first leg of the race from the UK and has stood down for personal reasons. The fleet will set sail for Cape Town, South Africa, on Saturday 10 September.
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race website