Where from: Cape Town, SA

Nautical Miles sailed: 95,000nm

34-year-old Ryan is a new face to the Clipper Race and will be bringing some intrepid energy to the circuit as a skipper in the 2023-24 edition. For Ryan it’s a dream come true. After finding out about the Clipper Race in 2017, Ryan followed the event - and also fellow Capetonian skipper Dale Smyth (its Deputy Race Director, who was competing in that edition) - closely and has been working towards becoming a Race Skipper ever since.

Ryan’s biggest influence in his sailing career has been his father, who is a passionate sailor himself. It was due to his dad that Ryan crossed the Atlantic to the Caribbean from Cape Town on his family’s boat, at aged just seven years old, returning to South Africa two years later. This kick-started Ryan’s interest, respect and passion for the ocean and sailing.

No stranger to extreme conditions, Ryan has sailed to remote ports in Svalbard in the Arctic and Alaska and he has crossed the Atlantic five times. Ryan’s competitive streak will also put him in good stead for the Clipper Race; he has previously competed in both small boat regattas in South Africa and big boat races including the Oyster Palma Regatta, Palma Classic Regatta and The Superyacht Cup.

Ryan is looking forward to safely leading non professional crew around the world and passing on his knowledge and skills to other people. Whilst Ryan has got a competitive edge and will be looking to drive performance success, he will be looking to encourage crew through difficult situations and form a strong team. A race route highlight for Ryan will be sailing into South Africa, something he’s yet to do since starting his professional career in 2008. And also adds racing in the Roaring Forties as something he looks forward to achieving.

When he’s not sailing, you’ll find Ryan in the great outdoors surfing, wakeboarding, kiteboarding or snowboarding. Ryan is an Advanced PADI open diver and enjoys travelling, fishing, tennis and golf.