Clipper Ventures has appointed a new Race Director to supervise the biennial Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Justin Taylor, 41, is a previous skipper and served as Deputy Race Director during the Clipper 11-12 Race.
“I have a real passion for ocean yacht racing and I’m delighted to be taking up the role of Race Director,” said Justin Taylor. “I have plenty of experience with the Clipper Race, having been a skipper in the 2002-03 and 2009-10 editions, and as the Deputy Race Director for the past two years.”
Justin is a qualified RYA Yachtmaster Ocean and Yachtmaster instructor with more than 130,000 nautical miles under his belt. As well as circumnavigating in the 2002 Clipper Race he has also made several Atlantic crossings and two of the North Pacific. He was also the winning skipper in the inaugural Round Ireland Race in 2006.
He has managed the race office and supervised the safety of the fleet whilst at sea and in race stopovers during the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race. As Race Director he takes on many new responsibilities, including managing the introduction of a brand new fleet of twelve 70-foot yachts that will circumnavigate the world for the first time in the ninth edition of the world’s longest ocean race.
Clipper Race Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: “The Clipper Race is going from strength to strength and Justin’s appointment builds on the considerable experience in the company at an exciting time in our development. The new fleet, and increased number of crew and boats, will all add to the challenge which I feel our Race Team, under Justin’s direction, will handle admirably.”
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is unique in offering amateurs from all walks of life the opportunity to experience ocean racing. Around half the crew have never sailed before they undertake an extensive pre-race training programme.
“We’ve just completed a very successful race but the next edition is set to be the biggest yet – with more than 650 crew members and the largest number of matched ocean racing yachts out there. My predecessor has set the bar very high in terms of professionalism and excellence, in delivering a truly world class event and we will build on this further together with the excellent group of people who are the Clipper Race Team,” Justin added.
Justin replaces Jonathan Bailey who has left the company to return to his former career as an engineer. Jonathan has made this decision in order to cut down on international travel and to devote more time to his young family, following eight years with the Clipper Race as a highly successful skipper and Race Director.
“We wish Jonathan well for the future; he has done a great job and has been an excellent mentor for Justin,” added Sir Robin.