Name: Nigel Gale

Age: 56

Occupation: Builder

Nationality: Channel Islander, Guernsey

Legs: Full Circumnavigation

We often share stories of the 40 per cent of Clipper Race crew members who are completely new to sailing, however some participants already have a wealth of experience that they will bring to their teams. One of those is Nigel Gale, who is gearing up for the 2019-20 edition as a circumnavigator. We spoke to Nigel, who is from Guernsey, Channel Islands, to find out about his #ReasonToRace.

Image: Nigel (far right) during trianing

No stranger to ocean racing, when Nigel lines up for the start of the Clipper Race next summer, he will be bringing with him a wealth of sailing experience which spans three decades. He says: “I am a sailor with 30 years’ experience mainly from around Guernsey where I live. I actually started sailing on Windsurfer One Design boards back in the dark ages before moving on to keel boats and I currently crew on a Sunfast 3600 and a Spirit 63 yawl which is absolutely beautiful.

“I also completed a transatlantic crossing when I sailed the Atlantic Rally for cruisers in 2016.”

Already a Clipper Race addict, thanks to friends who have taken part in previous editions, Nigel explains why he decided to take part the epic endurance adventure: “I chose to sign up because I was looking for a big challenge before I slip into late middle age and become an armchair warrior!

“I decided it was go big or go home so the full circumnavigation seemed like the ultimate thing I could do.”

Whilst experienced, Nigel, like all Clipper Race crew members, will undergo the compulsory Clipper Race Training programme. Nigel has already completed Level 1 and 2 and despite his existing knowledge, it has still been a learning curve. Nigel reflects: “The most surprising thing about training is that over the last 30 years I’ve developed lots of bad habits, like my winch technique, but it’s been great fun correcting these and learning lots of tips and tricks.”

Adventurous by nature, Nigel will certainly have some stories to share with his future teammates, from hitchhiking around Australia, bungy and parachute jumping.

And when it comes to the Clipper Race, Nigel thinks his competitive nature will shine through, saying: “I’m looking forward to testing myself and am also particularly keen on this being a race, in other words, I want our team to be the winning team. And if I can encourage that competitive spirit in other crew members, that would be fantastic.”

Although Nigel will miss his wife and two daughters, the encouragement he is getting from family and friends is fantastic. He says: “My family are really supportive of me doing the race, although my wife does not want to come and meet me anywhere along the way, she said she only wants to say goodbye once. Some of my friends think I’m crazy but what is crazy?”

Looking for a new challenge? You, like Nigel, could be lining up to compete in the race of your life next summer. No experience required and full training provided. Interested? Hit the button below to find out more.

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