William’s driving passion for sail racing in his 20’s and 30’s, prompted him to follow his dream and transition from a career in advertising to becoming a qualified, paid skipper. The UKSA Professional Yachtmaster Offshore course gave him the industry entry qualifications to land his first professional skippering job delivering yachts in the Med.

William with his yachtmaster crew at UKSA

They say it’s never too late to change careers – well that certainly rung true for William who went from 20 years in international advertising in the UK and the USA to swapping his suit and tie for  oilskins.

William tells his story: “I’d finished work and after some time off, I felt the call of the sea once again and wanted to get back into sailing. This time I was determined to become a paid skipper.  I realised that nowadays you need to have the relevant qualifications to enter the industry. I thoroughly researched what course I needed to do and where I should study. Funnily enough it was someone at another sail training company who suggested I study at UKSA as it was based in the UK. Every day, I silently thank UKSA for giving me the knowledge I needed to get my skipper job. The instructors really know their stuff and they made the course fun even on cold, wet days at sea.

I had a great experience at UKSA; I found that all the instructors were passionate about their roles and really enjoyed teaching us, even in February in the English Channel in a force 8!  My favourite part of the training was getting off the boat at the end of a freezing cold sea phase with solid learnings under my belt.

William on board his flotilla yacht for Sail Italia

Some of my pearls of wisdom for future students! I quickly realised that you get out of UKSA what you put in. I put in an extra hour of study a day which made life a lot easier for me.  For anyone coming to UKSA, read the sailing regulations to prep yourself before arriving, kit yourself out with the best foul weather gear you can afford, especially for the winter months, and make every day count”.

To find out more about UKSA’s Professional Yachtmaster Offshore 14-week course, please visit: https://uksa.org/professional-training/deck/professional-yachtmaster/