Patrick van der Zijden is among the elite sailors selected to become skipper for the Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race and the Dutchman is raring to go ahead of the 40,000-mile race.
“As a RYA Instructor I like to teach people, with the Clipper Race you can train these people for a much longer period and have a goal in the end: become a winning team in the race,” explains the 43-year-old.
Patrick has been tasked with moulding a group of amateur sailors, many who before their Level 1 training won’t have stepped on board a yacht before, into a well-honed team of ocean racers.
During the circumnavigation he and his crew will test themselves against some of the most extreme sailing conditions on the planet.
“I’m looking forward to the whole race,” reveals the Portugal-based sailor.
“Leg 1 because everything is new, Leg 2 to get to Cape Town and the Cape of Good Hope, Leg 3 for the big waves, Leg 4 going around Australia, Leg 5 going through straits and narrows, towards Qingdao, Leg 6 the big Pacific Ocean crossing, Leg 7 flash back along the American coast and Leg 8 the last race home.”
A sailor from a very young age, Patrick boasts a rather unique story to how he first began to learn to sail.
“My first solo sail happened when my dad dropped me in my sailing dinghy, gave me a push and pointed me in the right direction, that is how I learned to sail!”
Photography: © red-photographic