Meet the Board: RYANI Chair, Jackie Patton

RYANI’s Chair and Olympic sailor Jackie Patton has returned from competing in the “all Australian leg” of the Clipper Round the World yacht race. But this is not the first time she has raced across some of the toughest oceans in the world.

During the last edition of the race 2015/16 Jackie was “trimmer” on board GB & NI. The team finished in third place overall.  During her training Jackie competed in the Rolex Fastnet race, finishing in the top third of the fleet. In her latest adventure, Jackie joined the American Stock Exchange sponsored yacht NASDAQ, in Freemantle Australia.

Commenting on the experience, Jackie said: “With three races in total on the Australian leg, the first route took us diagonally across the Southern ocean, via Tasmania up to Sydney. Roller coaster waves in cold temperatures provided a challenge.” It has been a long held ambition for Jackie to participate in the iconic Rolex Sydney Hobart race. On Boxing Day 102 yachts started. 

Jackie explained: “This race attracts Olympic and Americas Cup vetrans. NASDAQ finished third in her class and again I was in the role as “trimmer” on the 75ft yacht. After a short stopover to join in with the New Year celebrations, we were on the start line again, this time heading for the Whitsunday Islands.”

Jackie added: “Navigating across the notorious Bass Strait for a third time, heading north, the yachts encountered, powerful local storms and a Tropical storm which provided winds over 70 miles an hour. As if this wasn’t enough wind holes and current prevented us from getting into port on time.”

Jackie said goodbye in Airlie Beach. Currently the fleet are racing for Quindao in China before taking on the Pacific Ocean. The whole race finishes on 28th July in Liverpool. The Clipper fleet will feature as part of the Foyle Maritime Festival in Londonderry 10th-22nd July 2018.

There will be free opportunities to view and see what life is like on board these iconic ocean racing yachts. Please be advised the tours are usually scheduled during the week only.  www.clipperroundtheworld.com       www.foylemaritimefestival.com