Crew Profile: Nathan Robertson

29 July 2015

Nathan Robertson, 38, is Britain’s most decorated badminton player and is best known for his formidable mixed doubles partnership with Gail Emms. Together they won Olympic Silver at the Athens Games in 2004, the All England Championship in 2005 and followed that up with World and Commonwealth titles in 2006.

Originally from Nottingham, Nathan began playing badminton when he was six years old and made his international debut for England at 18. Over his 17 year career he competed in three Olympic Games, won 10 Commonwealth medals and represented England 114 times.

Nathan had no sailing experience prior to starting his Clipper Race training and after completing Level 1 found that he was hooked. “The Clipper Race is an experience I just couldn’t pass up,” explained Nathan. “It’s really special to be doing the race and I’ve really enjoyed reading all the stories about the people who have taken part and watching the videos online.

“It’s something I had never thought about but I’m a sportsman, I’m competitive and I just love the challenge. As an indoor sportsman, I just wanted a taste for the outdoor life and you can’t get any better than being on the open sea.

“For me I think it’s going to be one of the greatest things I ever do in my life and may well even eclipse the experiences of being in the Olympics as far as pushing myself beyond what I already know because I trained for my sport for many years but this is putting myself into unknown waters so that is the challenge for me.”

Nathan retired in 2012 and has been coaching badminton ever since. His former Mixed Doubles partner Gail Emms is supporting his Clipper Race challenge. On finding out that Nathan would be joining the GREAT Britain crew, Gail said: “Sport is incredibly emotive and Nathan and I went through the highs and lows of mixed doubles badminton together - I would not have wished for anyone else as a partner and that's why I can't think of a better crew mate for this Clipper Round the World Yacht Race challenge.

“Nathan is incredibly competitive and ambitious but also hard working, trustworthy and knows how physically and mentally tough it can get in sport. He will always give 100 per cent. Not only that, he will have fun and relish every second of this unique opportunity and I wish him and the rest of the crew the best of luck.”

Nathan will sail the Homecoming leg from New York to London via Derry-Londonderry and Northern Europe on board GREAT Britain in Leg 8 of the Clipper 2015-16 Race.

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