The boating community from around Scotland gathered on Saturday evening at the Glasgow Science Centre as RYA Scotland recognised the achievements and outstanding commitment of Scotland’s volunteers, coaches, instructors, officials, clubs and performance sailors.

Among the highlights was the Performance of the Year category which was won by our Deputy Race Director and former Skipper Daniel Smith who was recognised amidst a very strong field, which included Olympic, ocean racing and day boat racing sailors.

Daniel, from West Kilbride and a well-known instructor at Cumbrae National Centre, and his Derry~Londonderry~Doire team won a hat trick of back to back wins in the Pacific, and remained on the podium seven times in the 14 race series. After eleven months and 40,000 nautical miles, only four points separated the second placed Derry~Londonderry~Doire from winning yacht LMAX Exchange.

In his acceptance speech Daniel said. “As an RYA instructor at Cumbrae I delivered a wide range of RYA training courses, a background which was invaluable as I went into the Clipper Race.

“I have many people to thank along the way and of course it is for the whole team on Derry~Londonderry~Doire who secured the race result.”

Adding, he said: “For me personally it has been the best year of my life. It was a roller coaster of emotions at times, from fun times to some tough conditions but I would encourage anyone with a sense of adventure to get immersed in this aspect of the sport and you will really enjoy it.”

As more people have still conquered Mount Everest than sailed around the globe, the Clipper Race is one of the world’s toughest endurance challenges. To make the task of our skippers even harder, they are teamed with an amateur crew.

“Congratulations to Daniel for winning RYA Scotland’s Performance of the Year award,” says Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.

“I’m incredibly proud of how he performed, and how he led his team throughout the Clipper 2015-16 Race, in the face of some of the toughest conditions on the planet. Daniel’s achievement is a testament to his Clipper Race skipper training and a testament to his sailing and leadership skills.”

For more information about boating in Scotland, and to hear about the rest of the winners from the evening, please visit

Daniel is the latest member of the Clipper 2015-16 Race to be recognised for a national award.

Gavin Reid, a crew member on Mission Performance, was recently awarded the YJA Yachtsman of the Year for his rescue efforts of a crewman stuck up the mast of a non-Clipper Race stricken vessel off the east coast of Australia. He has also received the Henri Lloyd Seamanship Award, the RORC Outstanding Seamanship Award, and was given special recognition at the 2016 Australian Sailing Awards.

LMAX Exchange skipper Olivier Cardin has also been recognised for his overall win in the Clipper 2015-16 Race. Olivier was given a special achievement award for ocean racing at the French Sailing Federation’s ‘Soiree des Champions'. One of his LMAX Exchange circumnavigation crew members, Dominique Hausser, was also recognised with a special award for his commitment to sailing at the Swiss Sailing Awards.

If you would like to be like Daniel, Gavin, Olivier and Dominque and achieve the extraordinary, there are still limited opportunities to join the Clipper 2017-18 Race. To race across the world’s oceans, apply here.

You can also experience all the action of the Clipper 2015-16 Race as our TV series Race of Their Lives 2 is now available to order on DVD. The seven-part human adventure series box set which contains four high quality DVD discs with seven one hour (52 minute) episodes of the TV series, plus bonus ‘My Story’ videos, can be ordered at for £24.95, incl. VAT.

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