Skipper change for Clipper 2017-18
Published on July 5th, 2017
For the upcoming Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race, it has been reported that British sailor Dale Smyth will take over as Skipper of the CV25 team with immediate effect following the resignation of Rick Powell, who has made the decision to step down from the role for personal considerations.
“Rick has made the very difficult decision to step down as Clipper Race Skipper and whilst we valued him greatly, we must respect his decision and wholeheartedly wish him well,” said Clipper Race Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. “It’s no easy job to come into the race at such an advanced stage but we’re very impressed with the commitment and enthusiasm Dale Smyth has shown towards this opportunity. He is perfectly qualified for taking on the highly demanding Clipper Race Skipper role and myself and the race team have every confidence he will do an excellent job.”
Dale Smyth, 35, born in Liverpool and now a permanent resident of South Africa, is a highly skilled sailor with over 50,000 offshore nautical miles in his log book.
One of the most experienced offshore training Skippers in South Africa, he has sailed offshore for the last 17 years. He has crossed the Atlantic numerous times whilst taking students, who include former Clipper Race crew, for their Yachtmaster Ocean courses, and has delivered yachts globally across the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans.
Dale has spent the past few months working as a Skipper for Clipper Race Crew Training courses and competed in this past weekend’s Round the Island Race, providing him with good knowledge of the Clipper 70 yachts.
On his new role, Dale Smyth said: “My appointment as Clipper Race Skipper marks a long-term life goal for me. I read one of Sir Robin’s books at aged eight and found it highly inspirational. Quite simply, it changed my life. I’ve raced since that very young age, and am also very passionate about teaching novice sailors and taking them to fulfil offshore racing goals.
“The chance to lead a Clipper Race team on a safe, fast passage of the world is something I have always wanted to achieve so I feel absolutely delighted to get the chance to lead CV25. I would also like to extend my personal best wishes to Rick Powell and look forward to continuing the good work that he and his crew have started.”
Dale is active immediately in his role as Clipper 2017-18 Race Skipper. He is currently travelling back to South Africa to see his family and organise his personal life in order to allow him to take on his new role and will return to the UK from 31 July onwards to join his race crew.
Twelve teams will take to the start line for the Clipper 2017-18 Race Start which sets sail from Liverpool’s Historic Albert Dock on August 20, and will take an incredible eleven months to complete the unique 40,000 nautical mile circumnavigation.
There are 712 crew members, representing over 40 different nationalities, currently training and preparing to compete in the race, making it the biggest yet of its eleven editions and 21-year history.
Background: Held biennially, the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race gets underway this summer for the fleet of twelve identical Tony Castro designed Clipper 70s. The 40,000 nm course is divided into individual races with the team having the best cumulative score winning the Clipper Race Trophy. Each team is led by a professional skipper with an all-amateur crew.