Canadian appointed as First Woman Skipper in World’s Longest Ocean Race

Canadian appointed as First Woman Skipper in World’s Longest Ocean Race

Thursday March 19, 2015

After a rigorous selection process, Toronto sailor, Diane Reid, 42, has been chosen to skipper a crew of amateur sailors in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

Diane is the first Canadian woman to be appointed as skipper in the world’s longest ocean race, the only event of its kind for amateur sailors, and she follows in the wake of compatriot Eric Holden, from Vancouver who won the Clipper 2013-14 Race.

She is one of twelve skippers who will each lead a crew through Mother Nature’s toughest environments on the 40,000 nautical mile ocean odyssey. The huge physical and mental challenge starts on August 30, 2015 from the UK.

For Diane, who was introduced to sailing as a baby on board her family’s cruising boat, her appointment is the latest in a long line of sailing accolades. She says: “The Clipper Race combines all my passions and goals. I want to race round the world stupidly fast and I love teaching sailing. I am a passionate sailor who loves competition and winning, but also loves seeing individuals excel and triumph over hurdles.”

The race was founded by legendary yachtsman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston who in 1969, became the first man to sail solo and non-stop round the world. Speaking about the selection process, Sir Robin said: “Our Race Skippers are put through rigorous trials before we appoint the successful candidates.

“Nothing can fully prepare you for the challenge of sailing round the world with a crew of amateur sailors, so we have to be sure we choose skippers, who not only possess the best sailing skills, but also have the right temperament and are good with people in highly stressful environments.

“It’s a race so of course everyone wants to win. However the most important characteristics for a Clipper Race Skipper are a true sense of seamanship and to be safety conscious. I am sure Diane will relish the adventure that lies ahead.”
Diane has combined her career as a racer, competing in events such as the Mini Transat (from Northern Europe to Guadeloupe), with her desire to share her love of sailing with others, and as a result spends much of her time in Canada teaching people how to sail.

Clipper Race champion skipper Eric Holden from Vancouver offered his congratulations to Diane, and said: "I am very pleased to hear Canadian Diane Reid has been selected to skipper in this year's Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, and would like to wish her all the best of luck and good fortune. A Clipper Race skipper is a demanding undertaking that I trust she will find as rewarding as I did.”

The Clipper Race is a unique event being the only one of its kind to give amateur sailors the chance to sail around the world. Now celebrating its nineteenth year, the race attracts an international crew of people from all walks of life, regardless of previous sailing experience, who want to step outside of their comfort zone and do something truly extraordinary by taking on one of Mother Nature’s greatest challenges.

The 2015-16 Race departs from the UK on August 30, 2015 and will return almost a year later. During the 40,000-mile race the fleet will visit six different continents, in up to 15 individually scored races. The team with the highest total points at the finish wins the Clipper Race Trophy.


For more information - Clipper Round the World Race