Meet Race Skipper Diane Reid

09 April 2015

Diane Reid, 42, is the first Canadian woman to be appointed as skipper in the world’s longest ocean race and is hoping to emulate the success of her compatriot Eric Holden, winner of the Clipper 2013-14 Race.

For Diane, who was introduced to sailing as a baby on board her family’s cruising boat, this appointment is the latest in a long line of sailing accolades. Diane says: “The Clipper Race combines all my passions and goals. I want to race around the world stupidly fast and I love teaching sailing. I am a passionate sailor who loves competition and winning, but also loves seeing individuals excel and triumph over hurdles.”

Diane has combined her career as a racer, competing in races such as the Mini Transat (from Northern Europe to Guadeloupe), with her desire to share her love of sailing with others, and as a result spends much of time in Canada teaching people how to sail. This dedication to race training has led to her being part of a team of experts who are rewriting the Canadian Basic Keelboat Racing Programme, to bring it up to date and make it easier to understand, giving it value for future implementation throughout Canada.

Speaking about the experience her Clipper Race crew can expect, Diane explains: “Advice is a very nice notion but holds minimal value most of the time so I want to educate my crew because education will give them the tools to stay safe, go fast and have loads of fun along the way.

“I always have a smile on my face and a positive attitude toward situations, regardless of crisis or stress. As well as some key people like Sam Davies, Alex Bennett and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, I am inspired by both my grandmothers, and all the people I have taught to sail over the years who have found a love for the sea.”

Five things about Diane

If I hadn’t been a sailor I would be: very sad and bored.

My family describe me as: obsessed and crazy.

The countries I am most looking forward to sailing into are: Australia and China.

My aim for the Clipper Race is to: Stay safe, go fast and kick some a.....!

By Race Finish I would like: a happy, injury-free crew who have achieved their goals and are proud of their adventure. Winning would be stellar!

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