Knox-Johnston recruiting 10 for the 2011-2012 race

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has launched his search for 10 skippers to lead the next Clipper Round the World Race.

The 2011-2012 race begins next August and the role involves taking a novice crew around the world on a 68ft racing yacht.

Sir Robin (pictured above with the 2009-2010 skippers) said: ‘Tackling this unique challenge, with its roaring gales and towering seas, as well as the frustrations of tricky calm spells, is no mean feat.

‘The skippers we are looking for need to be up to the challenge of competitively racing our 68ft yachts around the world with a non-professional crew onboard.

‘The successful individuals must have the ability to draw the line between competitiveness and safety, whilst also motivating a sometimes exhausted crew into an enthusiastic and committed team.

‘Leading a team of novice sailors in a race around the world is one of the hardest and most challenging jobs that any skipper could ever
undertake and not everybody is up to this challenge.’

The only professional sailor on board, the skipper is also expected to juggle commercial and media demands.

Many previous Clipper skippers have gone on to compete in solo ocean racing, such as the youngest winning Clipper skipper, Alex Thomson, who was 25 when he triumphed in 1998 and is about to compete in the Barcelona World Race, before another crack at next winter’s Vendée Globe

Interested skippers must have an MCA approved Yachtmaster Ocean and need to be ‘excellent sailors who put seamanship and safety first, have a proven track record in sail training and can demonstrate that they are strong team leaders’.

Clipper Race Director Joff Bailey, who skippered New York in the 2005-2006 race, said: ‘Being a race skipper in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race was one of the hardest jobs I have ever done.

‘However, the reward and satisfaction when you see the crew that you have trained react to situations as though they were full-time professionals and the look of achievement on their faces when they have crossed an ocean and finished a race is the best high in the world.’

Those interested in the positions should email Sir Robin at to request an application form.

Subscribe to Yachting Monthly magazine for all the latest sailing news and reviews