​Future Crew Friday – Meet Pavels Saikins

05 June 2015

Pavels Saikins, 28, is a former volleyball player who now works as a photographer on cruise ships. Hailing from Daugavpils, he is also our first ever Latvian crew member and has signed up to take on the mighty Pacific Ocean in Leg 6 of the Clipper 2015-16 Race.

We caught up with Pavels after the end of his Level 2 training week, and discovered that he has quite the appetite for adventure. Find out what other feats he has achieved in this week’s Future Crew Friday.

Name: Pavels Saikins
Occupation: Photographer
Signed up for:
Clipper 2015-16 Race, Leg 6

What has made you sign up for the Clipper Race?

When I was in Miami about three years ago, I went along to the race village that was set up for the Volvo Ocean Race stopover. While I was there I watched videos, tried out the coffee grinder and when I got home started searching online to find out more about it. I saw the crazy moments of waves crashing over the boats and it made me want to experience something like that for myself. I then came across the Clipper Race and discovered it was just like the Volvo Race but for amateur sailors, and I’m here as a result.

How much sailing experience did you have before the race?

Before I didn’t have any sailing experience. It’s not very popular in Latvia and I grew up over 200km from the coast so before that day at the race village, I didn’t even think about sailing.

Why did you decide to take on the Pacific Ocean?

From my childhood, I have always thought of the Pacific Ocean as something big, mighty and fearless. I have heard stories about Mother Nature, of the great force of the weather, so that is something that I want to experience. I hope that one day I will have some stories of my own to tell.

How have you found the training so far?

There is a lot of information and many new words for me, like grinders and sheets. In the beginning it was hard to take in, but with time it is getting sorted in my head and I’ve become more familiar with the boat. All the skippers I have worked with so far and been trained by, they don’t just tell you what to do, they show you the best way, the fastest and the safest.

My family have watched some of the videos online and they say ‘it’s so dangerous, why don’t you just go and lie on the beach for a while and enjoy some sun?’ They call me crazy but I would say this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I want to do something different.

Have you ever done another challenge like this?

Nothing quite like this. Last year I cycled 3,500 kilometres across South America from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to Valparaiso, Chile, which took me 40 days. Just before beginning my Level 2 training week, I went to Russia and climbed the highest mountain in Europe, Mount Elbrus. I do like a challenge and to know that I will have plenty of stories to tell one day.

What is it like to be the first Latvian to compete in the Clipper Race?

I don’t feel any different. It’s not like people are coming up and pointing at me for being the first. I tried to check if there had been any other crew members from Latvia and didn’t find anybody, but sailing isn’t particularly popular at home. I’m not doing this to be famous in my country, I’m doing this for myself to have the experience.

If you would like to join Pavels to race the world’s oceans this year, please get in touch via the apply section of the website . We are now also recruiting for the Clipper 2017-18 Race.

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