A SKIPPER from Monmouthshire has been named as one of the 12 professionals who will lead teams in a Round the World Yacht Race.
Retired superintendent David Hartshorn, 52, of Chepstow, will be leading the Clipper Race in August which will see 12 teams battle against each other to win the 11 month race.
Mr Hartshorn, who spent 30 years between Gwent Constabulary and the Metropolitan Police Service and who is an experienced sailor, said: “It’s a tremendous honour as leading a team in the Clipper Race has been my goal for a long time. Certainly feeling a bit emotional.”
After retiring from the Metropolitan Police Force in 2014, David became a Clipper Race Training Skipper and also did some in-depth research into the experience when he took part in the Pacific Ocean Leg of the previous race as a crew member.
He said: “I wanted to understand what the crew were feeling and the little things that made life difficult for them so if I ever had the privilege to skipper a boat, I could take that into consideration. I think it’s really important if you are going to lead a group of people you need to actually understand what they are going through.”
Mr Hartshorn also founded Operation Fitzroy, a project designed to allow disadvantaged young people from Inner London Boroughs the chance to experience sailing and learn crucial life skills.
Founded in 1996 by William Ward and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the Clipper Race is the only event which allows amateurs the opportunity to become ocean racers in some of the most remote locations on the planet.
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.”
The eleventh edition of this biennial ocean race will visit six continents and include six ocean crossings.
Twelve teams compete on the world’s largest matched fleet of 70-foot ocean racing yachts.
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.