Meet Race Skipper Darren Ladd

07 April 2015

Somerset sailor Darren Ladd got into sailing thanks to his grandfather who would take him out on his converted lifeboat in Weymouth as a child.

The 49 year old has had careers in the oil and gas industry and in IT but says he always felt restless because sailing was in his psyche. Having turned his attention to sailing full-time, Darren is relishing the huge physical and mental challenge ahead. Speaking about the upcoming race, Darren says: “I started working for the Clipper Race as a Training Mate in 2011. After the first course I thought, this is amazing! Almost everything I have done since then has been geared towards becoming a Race Skipper.

“On a personal level I would like to think that every one of my crew will have the adventure of a lifetime and really get something out of the race. It doesn’t matter what your background is, we are all equals when we’re pumping out the bilge and I would love for the crew to learn something about themselves that they never knew before.”

Darren has combined his love of sailing with many other interests throughout his life. As well as working as in the energy industry, he also has a Masters in Information Technology. Like most Clipper Race skippers, Darren says he is happiest when in the great outdoors:

“I have toured the Haute Route in the Alps, travelling hut to hut on skis for five days. A friend and I then decided we wanted to tour without a guide so we did an avalanche awareness course in Canada and then went off on our own and did the Wapta Traverse - six days, carried all our own gear, skied roped up, and even came up with our own two man crevasse rescue technique. Fortunately we never needed to try it out for real.”

Five things about Darren

My greatest strength is: not taking life too seriously & being able to laugh at myself.

My weakness is: danish pastries.

My lifetime goal is: to sail and explore the islands of the Pacific with no time constraints.

I'd describe myself as: bald, happy and roguishly good looking :-)

The advice I’ll give my crew is: don't forget to enjoy yourself - we are all so massively fortunate to be able to do something like this.

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