Bruce Anderson will be stepping down from his role of AQP on board Qingdao for personal reasons. It has been announced that the new AQP of Qingdao will be Maisie Bristow.

Maisie Bristow, 19, is from Walton on Thames, UK. Maisie sailed with Dare To Lead on Leg 6, crossing the North Pacific Ocean, where she impressed her Skipper and the Race Management team. During the week long Refresher Training in Subic Bay, Skipper Nigel Parry recognised her sailing ability. She was given the role of Watch Leader for the 6100nm race and excelled in her leadership and deck management.

She has been sailing since the age of 8, sailing dinghies competitively and after achieving her RYA Dinghy Instructor qualification, has trained juniors at Keep Sailing Hampton and at the Woking Sea Cadets and went on to gain her Yachtmaster Offshore qualification.

Says Mark Light, Clipper Race Director: "Nigel Parry, one of our most established and experienced Clipper Race Training Skippers, and Skipper of Dare To Lead, expressed that Maisie would be well suited to a professional role with us and has been given this opportunity on board Qingdao for Leg 7 (Race 11) and Leg 8, back to London.

"Maisie has been selected for this leadership position as she showed a high level of skill and excellence on the race across the North Pacific. During this tough crossing, which resulted in being the longest race in Clipper Race history, Maisie excelled and supported her Skipper and AQP, proving to be a very accomplished sailor. We have had several young skippers and AQPs at the Clipper Race who have gone on to do great things in the sailing industry and we recognise Maisie as having the potential to do the same.

"Additionally, we would like to thank Bruce (Anderson) for all his hard work as part of the Qingdao team."

Maisie will be flying out to San Francisco in the next few days to join the Qingdao team after they arrive in the city. Qingdao is currently estimated to arrive on Friday 6 May, in the afternoon to early evening. A team of Clipper Race Officials are in San Francisco awaiting the team’s arrival and to support them during its stop. The team is made up of Dale Smyth (Deputy Race Director), Grace Kitching (Race Manager), Karla Graves (Head of Communications), Justin Haller (Fleet Engineer) and Matt Pettit (Operations and Logistics Manager).

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