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From the Swells of the Southern Ocean to the Secrets of the Boat Shed - Jason Carrington

by Shirley Robertson 15 Mar 02:27 PDT 15 March 2022
Jason Carrington (left) and Alex Thomson © Alex Thomson Racing

Top international sailing commentator, Shirley Robertson this month features one of the most respected names in boat building, as Jason Carrington takes to the mic to discuss his phenomenal career in the sport.

Carrington has been at the forefront of high performance boat building for several decades, but as his chat with Robertson reveals, his achievements in the boat shed are more than matched by an impressive career offshore.

Carrington reveals how a childhood spent on the water in Lymington (UK) led to an apprenticeship at the groundbreaking Green Marine, under the tutelage of the pioneering Bill Green himself. It wasn't long before Carrington was impressing as a bow man, and was soon setting off on his first Whitbread attempt on the 1993/94 "Fortuna" campaign with British Whitbread stalwart Lawrie Smith. It was the first of four Whitbred / Volvo campaigns for Carrington, his second seeing him again take on the Round the World race with Smith onboard "Silk Cut"....:

"Sailing with Lawrie was wonderful, I remember my first glimpse of the Southern Ocean, I've never been with anyone that sailed so hard in the Southern Ocean...I was on the handles on deck....Lawrie was in the hatch and I looked and said 'this is crazy' and Lawrie just said "This is when you make the miles!.""

Carrington's tales of sailing the 93/94 and 97/98 Whitbread are told with a very obvious enthusiasm that hides nothing of his love for the camaraderie and hardships of round the world sailing. As the Whitbread transitioned to the Volvo Ocean Race, it's Carrington's memories of building Volvo60 "Assa Abloy" that then begin to reveal a glimpse of the attention to detail he's since become famous for...:"(Our sponsor) wanted the coach roof to be red and I caused such a fuss about 'why are we putting this paint on the boat, it's heavier, we don't need that paint' and I worked out per square metre what that was gonna weigh and I said 'No, we're not painting it red', I even phoned the sponsor...there was no compromise!"

From a lap of the planet on "Assa Abloy", tales from Carrington's sailing career take in another Volvo, onboard "Ericsson", one of the first Volvo 70s, again built under the watchful eye of Carrington, as well as his memories of a Jules Verne attempt with Ellen MacArthur onboard catamaran "Kingfisher 2", before the chat turns to life inside the boat shed, and the formation in 2017 of the now world renowned Carrington Boats.

Based in Hythe, on the UK's south coast, Carrington Boats have recently been responsible for the build of some of sailing's most talked about race machines, most notably the latest iteration of Alex Thomson's "Hugo Boss" and Ben Ainslie's 2021 America's Cup AC75 "Britannia". Carrington talks passionately about the difficulties of building foiling yachts at the very cutting edge of the sport, and does not shy away from the responsibilities that such complex projects bring.

Carrington's interview reveals a modest character, keen to remind Robertson that the men and women of the boat shed are often the unsung heroes of a successful campaign...:"There's building boats and there's building boats, but these type of boats, you've got to be very good at what you do, they're not in the spotlight, but they should be really."

Robertson's two part podcast with Jason Carrington is a fascinating glimpse into the career of a man that has played a pivotal role in the progression of the sport of sailing, and reveals a passionate character driven by a very obvious and deep rooted love of the sport of competitive yacht racing.

This edition of the podcast is in two parts and is available to listen to via the podcast page of Shirley’s own website, at shirleyrobertson.com/podcast or via most popular podcast outlets, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcast and aCast. The podcast is produced and written by Tim Butt - for further enquires, please contact .

Part 1:

Part 2:

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