Southampton Sailor to Lead Team in Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

Published 21/03/2019

Former UKSA student and instructor announced as Clipper Race professional skipper

Josh Stickland, 31, has been announced as one of the eleven professional skippers to lead a novice team in the 40,000 nautical mile Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Race.

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is undoubtedly one of the greatest ocean adventures on the planet, also regarded as one of its toughest endurance challenges. Taking almost a year to complete, it consists of eleven teams, with each made up of one Skipper, one Mate, and a crew of everyday people from many different walks of life, competing against each other on the world’s largest matched fleet of 70-foot ocean racing yachts.

Josh Stickland has over 100,000 nautical miles in his log book

Who are the eleven 2019 Clipper Race Skippers?

The eleven Clipper Race Skippers have a combined total of 1,400,000 nautical miles between them and hail from the UK, South Africa, and Spain.

Clipper Race Skippers

Chris Brooks (Essex, UK), Mark Burkes (Worcestershire, UK), David Immelman (Cape Town, South Africa), Ben Keitch (Sussex, UK), Seumas Kellock (Edinburgh, Scotland), Nick Leggatt (Cape Town, South Africa), Jeronimo Santos-Gonzalez (Melilla, Spain), Josh Stickland (Hampshire, UK), Mike Surridge (West Sussex, UK), Guy Waites (York, UK), Ian Wiggen (Devon, UK).

Now in its twelfth edition, this unique challenge brings together everyone from chief executives to train drivers, nurses, and firefighters, farmers, airline pilots and students, from age 18 upwards, to take on Mother Nature’s toughest and most remote conditions. There is no upper age limit, the oldest competitor to date is 76.

A long term ambition since qualifying as a Professional Skipper at 22

On being appointed as Clipper Race Skipper, Josh said: “It has been a long time coming! I have wanted to be a Clipper Race Skipper since I qualified as a professional skipper when I was 22. Before then I didn’t even know it could be a job, but when I found out it was possible, I wanted to do it and have been working to get to this point.”

Josh Stickland in-depth knowledge of the Clipper 70s

A passion for sailing started at UKSA

Josh gained his professional sailing qualifications at UKSA, including Professional Instructor Training (watersports) in 2008, before qualifying as a Commercial Yachtmaster in 2010. Josh also worked at UKSA as a watersports instructor and undertook numerous other courses, including essential MCA qualifications required to further his professional development – all leading to him becoming qualified to skipper a race such as the Clipper Race.

Josh was a recipient of the Stephen Thomas Bursary whilst undertaking his professional training at UKSA.

Fond memories as an instructor and a student

Josh has fond memories of his time at UKSA and said, “I’d like to thank everyone at UKSA throughout my years of learning and working there, from the kitchen, and housekeeping staff through to the watersports and yachting also the back offices. Without you all, I wouldn’t be writing this. It really is a special place that is always a joy to return to and has given me the support and the coaching needed to get me where I have today. When this chapter comes to a close I look forward to seeing all of you! ”

UKSA’s CEO Ben Willows is delighted that Josh has been selected and said the following: “I have had the pleasure of seeing Josh grow and develop as a professional yachtsman during his time at UKSA, right through from his first watersports course to the MCA courses he has continued to take with UKSA as a professional skipper. As a popular instructor and member of the USKA team, I know we will all be watching him closely as he takes on this epic race with his crew.”

Josh Stickland

The Clipper 2019-20 Race starts this Summer and will leave from the UK, and will call at ports around the globe including stops in South America, South Africa, Australia, three stops in China including Sanya, Zhuhai and Qingdao; West Coast and East Coast USA before heading back towards the UK. For more information, go to

We’ll be following Josh and his crew as they circumnavigate the globe, updating our social channels when we get news in on their progress!

Fair winds Josh from everyone at UKSA!

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