Meet the Clipper 2017-18 Race Crew: Guylaine Chapdelaine

04 December 2017

NAME: Guylaine Chapdelaine

AGE: 52

OCCUPATION: Maths Teacher


LEGS: 2, 4, 7, 8

TEAM: Visit Seattle

The challenge of the Clipper Race appeals to both sailors and non-sailors alike. For Guylaine Chapdelaine, an experienced sailor from Brittany, it was the variety of the Clipper Race and the opportunity to hone her skills that caught her attention when visiting the Southampton Boat Show a few years ago.

Having completed Leg 2 from Punta del Este to Cape Town, she has returned for Leg 4: The All-Australian Leg.

“I wanted to re-find the emotions on the sea and for me the Clipper Race mixes a lot of things, this is a sailing adventure, this is a human adventure, you push your limits and you meet a lot of people, 40 nationalities I think.”

Having sailed since the age of ten with family and friends, Guylaine is passionate about the sea and racing. She completed the ARC 2009, crossing the Atlantic with her husband and son on their own boat, Minimaxi, a Maxi 10.50, but felt it was now time to experience a more personal challenge.

“It was a fantastic adventure. Now, I want to go further, to improve my sailing skills, be in symbiosis with Mother Nature and to share the emotions of overcoming the challenge ahead with my crew.”

This is very much a personal challenge but Guylaine will be supported, throughout her entire journey, by her husband and two children.

“My husband will be following me the whole way. My son has an internship in Hong Kong so I will hopefully see him in Australia and my daughter is working in New York so will be fantastic to have her welcome me in.”

Whilst a seasoned sailor, Guylaine is aware of the challenges that come from sailing a 70ft yacht and relished every moment during her four weeks of training on the Solent.

“For me it is totally different to sail on a 70ft boat. It is very important to train, because some gestures, power and decisions are not the same on a smaller boat so it is very important to be aware and conscious of safety.

“One of the hardest parts will be finding the good ratio between safety and performance as Mother Nature can be extremely challenging when considering Blue Water Sailing.”

However, the potential for serious weather and tough conditions on board doesn’t faze Guylaine, who said: “The uncomfortable conditions, I don’t think will be an issue for me. I have experienced earthquakes, storms, spending time in the bush and more when I lived in Djibouti, Africa for six years.”

She adds: “The downwind sailing in the big winds, the helming and sailing fast is what I am most looking forward to.”

Choosing to take on South Atlantic Challenge Leg, Leg 2, the All-Australian Leg, Leg 4, the USA Coast-to-Coast Leg, Leg 7 and finishing with the Atlantic Homecoming Leg, Leg 8, Guylaine will add over 16,000 nautical miles to her log book. By the time she finishes, she will have sailed round one of the three legendary South Capes, competed in the famous Sydney Hobart race, transited the Panama Canal, visited five continents, and completed her dream of sailing into New York.

“I am looking forward to this adventure. I love the sea, I love forgotten time, you live with the sun, stars, and the sea. For me it is a quiet moment, even with the wind and the noise.”

Looking for your next challenge? Applications are now open for the Clipper 2019-20 Race. If you think you have what it takes to race across oceans as part of the biggest round the world ocean race, then apply now.

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