Skippers chosen for Round Britain Challenge

Many familiar faces announced by Challenge Business

Monday February 10th 2003, Author: Rachel Anning, Location: United Kingdom
The eight skippers and eight mates who will take command of the eight identical 72ft Global Challenge Race yachts in the inaugural Round Britain Challenge in Association with the Daily Telegraph were announced today.

After months of anticipation the lucky 16 professional men and women, chosen from many hopefuls, will set sail on 19 April from Ocean Village, Southampton for a non-stop circumnavigation of Britain and Ireland, the first event of its kind ever to be run.

On board each yacht will be 16 crew, made up of people from all walks of life and nationality, with varying levels of experience, from a complete beginner, to a national dinghy sailing champion who has been sailing for most of his life. The Crew Volunteers will learn who their skippers and mates are next month but the skippers and mates can be revealed as follows:


- James Allen (skipper) and Steven White (mate)
- Duggie Gillespie (skipper) and Joanna Summers (mate)
- Jim Allen (skipper) and Jasper Heikens (mate)
- Mark Taylor (skipper) and Martin Wild (mate)
- Peter Scoggins (skipper) and Stuart Jackson (mate)
- Ian Buchele (skipper) and John Quigley (mate)
- Clive Cosby (skipper) and Laurence Marriott (mate)
- John Crawford (skipper) and Duncan Jubb (mate)

The task of selecting the skilled yachtsmen and one woman for the event came down to Simon Walker, managing director of Challenge Business and Jeremy Troughton, sailing manager, both former Global Challenge skippers.

The skippers and mates now have just 10 weeks to formulate their strategies and prepare themselves and their yachts before the race sets sail in April.

Profiles of the skippers and mates:

Skipper, James Allen, 28, has been sailing professionally for ten years and has logged over 50,000 sea miles on a wide variety of boats. James worked as a Senior Instructor at the British Offshore Sailing School instructing Yacht Master courses before joining Challenge Business two years ago. During this time he has completed four trans-Atlantic crossings and spent time in Boston training Crew Volunteers for the Global Challenge 2004-2005. James competed in last year's Challenge Transat.

Mate, Steven White, 30-year-old Steven White's work path has led him from training as a jockey during university to restoring classic cars to boats, which he became addicted to seven years ago. Steve has worked for Pete Goss's Team Philips and did the refit for the Vendee Globe yacht, Aqua Quorum. Steve was mate aboard Vail Williams, which came first in Race II of the Challenge Transat.


Skipper, Duggie Gillespie, 36, qualified in Land Management before taking to the water and competing as a Crew Volunteer in the British Steel Challenge; Challenge Business' very first round-the-world race, back in 1992. Not feeling like he had enough sailing Duggie continued working in the sailing industry and has worked for Challenge Business on various programmes in the UK, Norway and the Caribbean, interspersed with various yacht deliveries worldwide. Duggie won the Challenge Transat 2002 overall, competing on the yacht Logica.

Mate, Joanna Summers, 26, has been sailing for seven years and in this time has clocked up over 40,000 sea miles. Jo, who is the only woman to have been selected, originally came to Challenge Business in 1999 before taking three years off to work in the warmer climes of the Canary Islands and the Caribbean. Jo also worked as a skipper for Sunsail and Formula 1, both as an instructor and a corporate skipper. Jo rejoined Challenge Business last summer and has been a training mate ever since.


Skipper, Jim Allen, 32, worked in banking for 12 years before taking a complete career change - sailing - and he hasn't looked back since! Jim has been working for Challenge Business for over four years and has covered around 50,000 miles on Challenge yachts during this time. These miles have taken him on many transatlantic trips, two Caribbean seasons and a huge amount of time spent training Crew Volunteers for the Global Challenge 2000 and 2004, Challenge Transat and Round Britain Challenge.

Mate, Jasper Heikens, 23, started off in dinghies spending many summers as an instructor at sailing camps in the UK and his native Netherlands. In the three years Jasper has been with Challenge Business he has completed many Challenge Adventure Sailing trips, worked in Boston as a training mate and provided invaluable corporate support during the EDS Atlantic Challenge 2001. Jasper was mate on the overall winning Challenge Transat 2002 yacht, Logica.


Skipper, Mark Taylor, 39, an accountant by profession, has been sailing for over 30 years. He competed in the 2000 Europe1 New Man solo yacht race from Plymouth to Rhode Island, a fully crewed transatlantic race in a Whitbread 60, and raced in Class II of the double-handed Transat Jaques Vabre from Le Havre to Brazil in Olympian Challenger. Mark then cruised home from Brazil via the Caribbean, sailing 12,000 miles in three months! Mark competed as a skipper in the Challenge Transat.

Mate, Martin Wild, 26, comes from a background in instructing outdoor pursuits, and has sailed a wide range of different boats all over the world. Martin has been working for Challenge Business for over a year and worked as first mate in Scotland running Challenge Adventure Sailing trips. Martin has had a busy winter training Crew Volunteers for the Global Challenge 2004 and the Round Britain Challenge.


Skipper, Peter Scoggins, 35, spent 10 years working in leisure management before joining Challenge Business in April 1999. During his time with the company Peter has skippered a yacht during a busy corporate season (which sees around 1,000 senior executives a week sailing with Challenge Business), numerous visits to the Fastnet Rock, Heavy Weather Sailing courses and a three-month tour of the Canary Islands. Peter competed in the Challenge Transat.

Mate, Stuart Jackson, 26, has been sailing all his life taking on quite an adventure in 2000 when he entered the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers), the largest transoceanic crossing in the world, aboard his father's boat. After arriving in the Caribbean with the ARC fleet Stuart sailed back to his home land of Scotland single-handed, via Bermuda and the Azores. Stuart recently returned from a Challenge Adventure sailing expedition to Norway and Spitzbergen.


Skipper, Ian Buchele, 33 has been sailing since childhood, developing a passion for water sports that has kept him on the water for most of his life. 'Bushy' has been professionally sailing for the past five years, clocking up about 60,000 nm, from all over the world, from pirate territory in Asia to within 500nm of the North Pole. Bushy was a skipper in the Challenge Transat.

Mate, John Quigley, 28 qualified with a BSC in Building Surveying and was a Civil Engineer before embarking on the BT Global Challenge 2000/ 01 as a Crew Volunteer. Ten months and 30,000 miles later there was no going back to the office for John and he joined Challenge Business as a training mate. John has recently retuned from a stint training Crew Volunteers in the USA for the Global Challenge 2004.


Skipper, Clive Cosby, 27, has been sailing since childhood and worked for five seasons as an instructor whilst also racing to National and European level on Solings,J24s and Sigmas. With a degree in Surveying, obtained from Bristol University, and a year pursuing his dream of traveling in South America, Clive returned to the water and a promising career with Challenge Business. He has now been with the company for three years now completing a number of ocean trips and more recently has been a training skipper for Global Challenge 2004 and Round Britain Crew Volunteers.

Mate, Laurence Marriott, 28 was born surrounded by water - on the Isle of Wight - and has continued to be surrounded by it with a sailing career that spans over 11 years. Fresh from school Laurence knew he wanted to be a professional sailor starting out as a cruising instructor for Sunsail. Laurence quickly progressed to sailing manager and jobs that took him to a number of exotic locations including Thailand where he worked as bare boat skipper. This is Laurence's second race with Challenge Business, having
competed in the Challenge Transat.


Skipper, Jonathon Crawford, 30, has logged around 50,000 sea miles on a variety of yachts, and has been with Challenge Business for four years. Jon provided invaluable support skippering one of the support yachts during the Ward Evans Atlantic rowing Challenge, spending 42 days out at sea during one single stretch. Jon has recently returned from Boston and New York where he has been training Crew Volunteers for the Global Challenge 2004/05.

Mate, Duncan Jubb, 27 has been sailing since he was 14 when he was picked for the Scotland Dinghy Training Squad. Duncan has been working with Challenge Business for over three years and has had a wide and varied number of sailing roles from touring Scandinavia and the Baltic to mainland Europe and the Caribbean. Duncan competed in the Challenge Transat.

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