A familiar face for followers of the Clipper Race, experienced Race Skipper David Hartshorn returns for the 2019-20 edition. This will be the third edition of the Clipper Race that David has been involved in. Having taken part in the 2015-16 edition as crew on Leg 6, The Mighty Pacific, he then fulfilled the goal of becoming a Race Skipper in the 2017-18 edition.

Since the conclusion of the last edition, David has continued his second career as an RYA Sailing Instructor. As part of this he has also been involved in coaching future Race Crew as a Clipper Race Training Skipper, most recently overseeing the latest Level 4 training of Clipper 2019-20 Crew.

Looking at his qualifications and experience, many would be surprised to learn sailing is a second career for David Hartshorn.

David, 54, was born and raised in Wales and spent three decades serving in the Police Force. After beginning his career in 1984 as a Constable with the Gwent Constabulary, David retired as a Superintendent with the Metropolitan Police Service in 2014. His distinguished career 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.

His highly decorated 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 humbling.”