With his father and grandfather both being sea captains, the sea has always played a big role in Jeronimo’s life. His father used to take him away for months and he counts some of his fondest early memories being on the bridge of a cargo ship with him, sailing the seas. He was just seven years old when he first started racing dinghies.
Jeronimo Santos Gonzalez, who was born in Galicia, is the first Spaniard to lead a team in the 23 year history of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. On his appointment, he says: “Sailing around the world is a great adventure and it’s been my lifetime ambition to get to do it professionally. To do it with a race that has the global reputation and following that the Clipper Race has is a huge bonus.
“It’s an added honour that I am the first Spanish Skipper in the race’s history. I’ve sailed at a national level in my youth so I feel enormously proud to have the chance to represent my country on the international stage once again.”
With more than 80,000 nautical miles under his belt, Jeronimo first started racing dinghies aged seven and went on to compete in various Spanish and European Championships. He has now completed five Atlantic crossings, and skippered charters around the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. Ahead of applying to be a Clipper Race Skipper, Jeronimo has lived in East Sussex where he has spent the past two years as a race skipper, instructing beginner sailors on the Solent.
On what Jeronimo predicts will be his best qualities as a Clipper Race Skipper, he says: “I am very practical, a patient problem solver and I manage risks well. I am passionate about sailing and anything to do with water and adventures, and I aim to motivate people around me with my positive attitude.
“People who have sailed with me before describe me as having a great deal of patience and they feel confident with me. I am calm in a storm.”
In addition to his sailing qualifications, Jeronimo has a Law Degree from the University of Granada, and has his PADI Diving Instructor certificate. Aside from growing up in Vigo and then Melilla, and living in the UK, he has also lived in Japan, Ibiza, and the Philippines.