Where from: Wales, most definitely, originally from Cardiff, but from the age of 4 outside Chepstow. Now residing in Milton Keynes.
Nautical Miles Sailed: 129,457
David was born and raised in Wales. After beginning his career in 1984 as a Constable with the Gwent Constabulary, David had a well established career and retired as a Superintendent with the Metropolitan Police Service in 2014. In 1990 David also joined the Parachute Regiment Territorial Army for 11 years and held a Commission, where he was a Rifle Platoon Commander.
His distinguished career in the Police Force, included serving as the Met Police Public Order Branch Chief of Staff with responsibility for public order, and overseeing the planning and resourcing of major events such as the 2011 Royal Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Despite his many career achievements, becoming a Clipper Race Skipper has been one of David’s proudest moments.
“My immediate reaction to hearing the news was absolutely fantastic!” says David.
“It’s been my goal for a long time. People who know me appreciate just how much this means to be selected, It’s incredible. I was a bit emotional.”
The number of personal acclamations David has received is a testament to his dedication to his years in uniform. His honors include a commendation from the Deputy Commissioner Tim Goodwin in 2011, and a personal letter of thanks from the then Home Secretary, the Rt Hon Theresa May MP, turned British Prime Minister, for his leadership in the police response to the riots of August 2011.
His police career also gave David the opportunity to be a part of something he describes as his greatest achievement to date. Inspired by the Clipper Race, David founded and was lead Skipper on Operation Fitzroy, a project which gave disadvantaged young people from Inner London Boroughs the chance to experience sailing.
“They would spend five days effectively doing a Competent Crew Course and the next two days racing around the cans on the Solent,” says David.
“To see the transformation and development of communication and social skills, teamwork and individual confidence in the young people was incredibly humbling.”
David first fell in love with sailing in his late teens after sailing a friend’s yacht on weekends while working on a Kibbutz in Israel during his gap year. Since then, he has recorded more than 129,000 nautical miles in his log book, 120,000 of those as a skipper and has crossed the lines of longitude 4 times.
David doesn’t just know sailing, he also knows the Clipper Race. A keen follower since the inaugural race in 1996, David began working as a freelance Training Instructor in 2015 and a year later, took part in the Mighty Pacific Leg (Leg 6) as a crew member.
“I wanted to know what they were feeling and the little things that made life difficult for them so if I ever had the privilege to skipper a boat I could take that into consideration,” says David.
“I think it’s really important if you are going to lead a group of people you need to actually understand what they are going through.”
This insider knowledge, as well as his sense of humor and strong communication skills, David says ultimately, he hopes to foster a happy and unified environment in the upcoming race.
David went on to be a Race Skipper in the 2017-18 edition (unfortunately sustaining an injury on an earlier leg but rejoined later on) and returned for the Clipper 2019-20 Race from Leg 2 onwards. This is now David’s opportunity to settle some unfinished business and complete the circumnavigation from start to finish.
“My motivation for returning to skipper the Clipper 2023-24 Race is straightforward. It is to achieve the aim that I started on the 2017-18 edition, which is to take my own team on a complete circumnavigation of the globe in a safe and competitive manner.”