This week we catch up with former dinghy sailor and retired teacher Jackie Patton from Donaghadee, Northern Ireland on her passion for sailing.
Jackie has completed two of the four levels of Clipper Race training in preparation for her 8,854 nautical mile Clipper Race challenge. Find out why the race is in Jackie’s DNA.
Occupation: Primary School Teacher
Signed up for: Clipper 2015-16 Race, Legs 7 and 8
led you to sign up for the Clipper Race?
As a yachtsperson the Clipper Race is general knowledge and I was seeking a personal challenge. When the boats came into Derry-Londonderry during the last race, I had already signed up but I realised how important it had become to me because as I entered the car park to the marina I could feel the adrenaline pumping. When I saw the mastsand then when I approached the fleet I became quite emotional that I was going to be part of such an iconic race.
made you sign up for Legs 7 and 8?
Originally I was going to do Leg 7 but as a yachtswoman, to sail across the Atlantic and into home is so tantalising. It is a must do, so I added Leg 8. I chose Leg 7 because I have sailed in Scandinavia Europe and the Far East, but I haven’t sailed much of America and I thought that would be a challenge, and highly tactical. Because the American leg of the race experiences light winds it tests your brain power, but I’m also looking forward to going north and the challenge of the Atlantic.
has been the highlight of your Clipper Race experience so far?
The highlight so far has been helming through hailstone storms and windy conditions. The night sailing has also been wonderful, being able to see the stars. The craic with the crew has been great too!The whole experience has been second to none from start to finish so far.
have you found the most challenging so far?
I want to be an all-round sailor so I can be more valuable to the team. I would like to refresh on my VHF licence and other elements to sailing and I’ve already been doing additional training at home to top up my knowledge and experience.
do your family and friends think about you doing the race?
No one is surprised; it’s part of my DNA! I am very fortunate, I have a very supportive family and it’s a big commitment but my husband will hopefully visit one of the stopovers. I am looking forward to racing into Derry-Londonderry and I am certainly encouraging all my friends to bring their boats over to the city to see me and celebrate!
Want to race the world’s oceans? The 2015-16 Race starts August 30 and there are a limited number of places on board. We are also recruiting for the 2017-18 race so if you would like to join our ocean racing crews, contact Crew Recruitment Manager, Della Parsons email@example.com +44 (0) 2392 526 000.Apply now