Skegness’ Andy Burns has been selected to lead a team of amateur sailors in one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet, the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race.
The 31-year-old, who began his sailing at the age of 12 and is a former training skipper for the race, underwent a series of intense interviews and trials before being announced today as one of 12 professional skippers for the 40,000 nautical mile race, which starts from the UK in August.
Andy said: “I feel incredibly proud to be selected as a Clipper Race skipper for the 2017-2018 edition.
“It is an opportunity that mixes my love for sailing, ocean travel, people and teaching.
“I cannot wait to meet my future team, sail around the world and return having forged great bonds over incredible shared experiences”
Andy’s vast sailing career already spans 19 years and has seen him log over 100,000 nautical miles working around the globe in sail training and superyacht industries.
An experienced yacht racer, he has competed in three Round the Island Races, six Superyacht Regattas, Cowes Week, the Panerai Classic, The Bicentenary, Sydney Harbour Twilight Series and Lion Island Races.
“Naturally, I would like to win and sail competitively but only doing so without pushing the boat or crew to any unsafe limits to get there,” he badded.
“I believe that preventing damage is far better than repairing and I will be spending a lot of time learning about my crew and yacht and will be working out the strengths and weaknesses that lay within the team.”
With 12 teams and approximately 700 participants, the biennially held Clipper Race is the world’s largest ocean race.
A total of 40,000 nautical miles in length, it challenges individuals to go further, dig deeper and push themselves harder as they pit their wits, skills and courage against the world’s toughest oceans, with no previous experience required.
Only the Skipper on board each team is professional.
The Clipper Race was the brainchild of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-69.
This momentous biennial event has a deep passion for challenge and life changing adventure at its core.
Since the first Clipper Race in 1996, almost 5,000 people have been turned into competent ocean racers.
Sir Robin said: “The role of Clipper Race skipper is one of the toughest, but most rewarding jobs that exists in sailing.
“Not only do you have to be a highly capable sailor to be able to complete the relentless challenge of circumnavigation, you also have to be an excellent instructor and leader.
“I wish Andy and his team the best in their Clipper 2017-18 Race campaign.”