Qingdao professional sailing staff update

18 December 2023

We are pleased to announce Philip Quinn as the new Skipper of Qingdao. Philip will be joining the Clipper Race from Airlie Beach back to Portsmouth (Legs 5-8).

As previously communicated, due to an ongoing medical condition, Greg Hunt is unable to return to the Clipper Race and Jeronimo Santos Gonzalez will be with the team as Skipper until the end of Leg 4.

Philip, 57, from County Down, Northern Ireland, has over 40 years of sailing experience. With a RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Ocean, alongside Instructor qualifications in Cruising, Powerboat and Shore-based Theory, Philip is a highly competent sailor and teacher. His competitive nature has seen him place in sailing competitions across the UK and Ireland and makes him well suited to the role of a Clipper Race Skipper. Philip is driven by his desire to lead like-minded, enthusiastic and adventurous sailors in a race around the world.

Image: New Qingdao skipper Philip Quinn.

Philip will arrive in Airlie Beach in early January and will be in port for the Leg 4 arrival window. This will give him the opportunity to spend time with Jeronimo and of course get to know the Qingdao Race Crew before the team departs on Leg 5.

In addition to this staffing change, Race Manager, Grace Kitching, is leaving Clipper Ventures at the end of the Airlie Beach stopover. In a move of professional development, current AQP Steve Westwood will be stepping off Qingdao in Newcastle ahead of him taking over as the Clipper Race Manager at HQ in Gosport on 1 February 2024.

Joining the team as Qingdao AQP in Steve’s place will be Henry Hallatt. Henry, 25, from Norfolk is an experienced sailor, completing a circumnavigation by age 20, and clocking up 60,000nm to date. A qualified Yachtmaster Ocean, as well as a Cruising Instructor, Henry brings a wealth of experience to the Clipper Race. Having already crossed the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans a number of times, Henry looks forward to pushing his limits further and unleashing his competitive side as he joins the Clipper Race.

Image: New Qingdao AQP Henry Hallatt.

Henry will commence his role during the Newcastle arrival window. Once Qingdao is in port, Steve will be handing over to Henry.

The Clipper Race welcomes both Philip and Henry to the race. We also welcome Steve to his new role within the Clipper Race. We look forward to continuing to have him as part of the team.