Meet Race Skipper Daniel Smith

24 March 2015

Daniel Smith has been sailing since he was a little boy on family holidays in the Scottish Islands. So for the Senior Yachting and Watersports Instructor to be appointed as Race Skipper, he says, is a dream come true: “I feel the challenge of building a team, taking on ‘Mother Nature’ and conquering the oceans is an opportunity of a lifetime with massive rewards.

“I’ve sailed for as long as I can remember. When I was young we had a 26 foot family yacht which we went on for holidays every year. As I got older I had an Optimist followed by a few Lasers which I used to train and race with the Scotland Sailing squad. It wasn’t until I got to University that I realised that it was great fun to sail a yacht with others.”

The 32 year old Scotsman graduated from Glasgow University with a degree in Computer Science and he also boasts a long list of qualifications in outdoor sports which he has put to good use teaching others at the SportScotland National Centre in Cumbrae. Daniel, from West Kilbride, North Ayrshire, is a former Scottish Schools National Champion who has gone on to be a qualified Yacht Master, Wind surfing and Power Boat Instructor.

Having already sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, Daniel says it is the Pacific he is most looking forward to crossing in Leg 6 of the Clipper Race: “Its sheer size and remoteness are what excites me about it.

“I believe that with everything in life the more you put into something the more you get out. The Clipper Race will be no different. Those who really get involved in preparing themselves, the team and the boat will get the most from the race. If I can make it the best race I can for each of my crew then it will be a successful race for me.”

Five things about Daniel

My family describe me as: Adventurous, dynamic, dependable and pretty damn awesome.

My greatest strength is: The skills I developed from my background in teaching.

My weakness is that: I am not very good at flower arranging.

My biggest achievement is: Spending 18 days traveling through the desert and kayaking down the Grand Canyon, far from civilisation, and paddling some fantastic white water.

I am inspired by: My Dad. He taught me to sail, always offered me great advice and was a great leader. He loved an adventure too and was a mountaineer and a sailor.

To read more about all of our race skippers click here.

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