Meet Race Skipper Igor Gotlibovych

08 April 2015

Igor Gotlibovych was born in Kharkov, Ukraine before moving to Germany as a teenager. His dual nationality means he is both our first Ukrainian and first German race skipper in one.

The 27 year old, who has a PhD in Experimental Atomic Physics from Cambridge University, says his fascination with the ocean began when he was a child: “I grew up in Ukraine, hundreds of miles from the sea, and I didn't know any sailors as a kid. When I told my parents I wanted to learn to sail, my inspiration must have mostly come from books and movies. They supported me full-heartedly, and I started racing dinghies at a local sailing club.”

“I have always liked to challenge myself - whether racing in the Fastnet, sailing offshore single-handed, or climbing frozen waterfalls. However, nothing compares to leading a team in the Clipper Race - the scale and diversity of the challenges ahead is unique.”

Igor is the youngest of the 2015-16 skippers but having already garnered years of sailing experience as a racer and instructor, he laid out his aims for the race: “My personal sense of achievement will depend on every team member's personal victories. For most, it will mean overcoming their limitations, perfecting new skills, becoming friends with their teammates.

“Everyone has the potential to be an indispensable part of a winning race team - it's hard work, but immensely rewarding. The ultimate success is winning the Clipper Round the World Race - not for its own sake, but because it would be a testimony to all the team work, all the perseverance, all the personal victories that add up to success.”

Five things about Igor

I want to be able to: look back at my life and not regret any lost opportunities.

If I wasn’t a sailor I would be: a physics professor.

My biggest strength is: I am very competitive.

My weakness is: perfectionism. I am not satisfied as long as I know there's room for improvement.

My greatest achievement is: learning to follow my dreams and realising that I must create my own opportunities.

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