Crew Catchup: Dominique Hausser
14 June 2016
LMAX Exchange Swiss round the world crew member Dominique Hausser has been sailing all his life having grown up near Lake Geneva, Switzerland.
As he nears the end of the circumnavigation, Dominique reflects on how different the Clipper Race has been compared to his previous experience.
After qualifying as a doctor, I worked as a researcher for 25 years in public health, focusing on HIV, AIDS and prevention/evaluation of prevention strategy in Switzerland.
I then managed projects in computing for the City of Geneva before I retired. It was then that it was the right time to register for the Clipper Race.
Since I was very young, I wanted to sail round the world. I was barely able to walk the first time I went on a sailing boat. When I was 18, I was often sailing on Lake Geneva in 470 or 505 dinghies with friends and I enjoyed sailing solo, going off for two weeks with my boat and my sleeping bag.
I then started to sail at sea and in keel boats racing at regattas. I have been a national judge and have done eight years as a board member at Swiss Sailing.
However, a circumnavigation was always the dream I wanted to realise. I had wanted to do it with one of my friends, but that was not possible.
It’s a new experience to be able to say I have raced round the world in a big crew. I have been on a much bigger boat than I have been used to.
I had also always wanted to do the Sydney-Hobart Race. I had done it eight times playing the Virtual Race so I had a good idea about the expected wind and conditions. I really prefer doing the navigation on board and spent three days in the nav station during the Sydney-Hobart.
There have been some memorable moments during the Yellow Sea and off South Africa in some very tough conditions where I was navigating and looking out for hazards as we tacked in some very bad weather.
I am very happy to be on the winning boat and with a team that is racing very hard. We are able to integrate the new crew quickly and everyone works very intensely. There are some very strong people on board and we really want to win.
I don’t feel like I have changed during the year really, apart from the fact I have lost 15 kilos. However, you are always learning something and discovering people and countries.
Sometimes you want to stay longer in the countries we visit, of course. I would have liked to stay in Costa Rica for three months, not six hours.
One place I never want to go back to is the North Pacific. It was three weeks in an awful sea state. I never wish to do that again. Next time, I will go directly to Hawaii.
I am quite happy that it’s near the end of the circumnavigation now. It’s a long time for a race and it’s time to stop and to do something else, but of course I will continue to sail.
This summer, I will go to the Rio 2016 Olympics to watch my son compete in the 470 class. He was also sailing at the London 2012 Olympics and it is going to be a pleasure to watch him compete again.
I will look back on my voyage with very fond memories, while also planning new adventures.
If you would like to follow Dominique and race the world’s oceans we are now recruiting for the Clipper 2017-18 Race. Please get in touch via the apply section of the website.Apply now