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Tom Way appointed as Deputy Race Director of Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

by Kathryn Foulkes 23 Oct 2017 18:37 BST 23 October 2017
(l-r) Clipper Race Director Mark Light with new Deputy Tom Way © Clipper Ventures

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is very pleased to announce that it has appointed Tom Way as its new Deputy Race Director, with immediate effect in Cape Town, following the decision by Dan Smith to step down from the role in order to relocate back to Scotland.

An experienced racer and RYA Yachtmaster Offshore certified instructor with over 60,000 miles in his log book, Tom has over 10 years' experience in the marine industry, including five years working for the Clipper Race.

Tom has developed an extensive and invaluable level of knowledge of the Clipper Race and its operations, following roles with the training, refit, maintenance, recruitment and media departments. Most recently Tom also spent the past ten months working in Abu Dhabi as Fleet Manager for Pindar's two Volvo 60s.

On his new appointment, Tom, 27, from Portland, Dorset, who began his Clipper Race journey as a qualified crew member on board the Derry~Londonderry entry in the Clipper 2011-12 Race says: "I'm incredibly proud and excited at my new appointment as Deputy Race Director for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

"Since returning from racing round the world in the Clipper 2011-12 Race, I have worked for pretty much every part of the company which has given me unique insight into its operations. My passion is sailing and racing so being a key member of one of the most unique yacht races on the planet is a great honour and another challenge I'm eager to take on."

As well as his experience on board, Tom's other Clipper Race roles included being a Training Mate and Skipper and Fleet Manager for the 68 fleet, and Boat Captain for the refit of the Clipper 70 fleet ahead of the 2015-16 race edition.

Tom was also involved in launching the first Clipper 70 yacht in St Katharine's Dock and was part of the operations and logistics effort in launching the GREAT Britain yacht in Trafalgar Square in 2013, as well as leading various crew recruitment presentations over the years based on his crew experience.

Congratulating Tom on his appointment, Clipper Race Director Mark Light said: "I'm very pleased to welcome Tom as our Deputy Race Director. Tom was one of my qualified crew when I skippered in the Clipper 2011-12 Race and we raced over 20,000 nm together. I was always impressed by his strong combination of sailing and boat maintenance skills, work ethic and operational knowledge. Since then he has become one of our most experienced members of staff, gaining knowledge of almost every department within the race organisation, which will prove a real asset in his new role.

"I already know that we can work effectively together in high pressure environments. He is also uniquely qualified for the role as he understands the challenges our crew and Skippers face, having experienced both these roles for himself, plus he has the excellent operational knowledge to lead our challenging logistical efforts."

In his spare time, Tom is a competitive racer and has competed in many international regattas and races, with highlights including a Fastnet class win in 2009. Most recently his race experiences included the Swan 45 World Championships in Palma last week.

With over 700 crew competing in the 2017-18 edition, on board the world's largest fleet of matched ocean racers, the Clipper Race is the planet's biggest ocean adventure and offers a unique challenge to crew and the organising team alike.

As Deputy Race Director, Tom will be an integral part of the race office team in each of the international stopover locations, and will assist Race Director Mark Light with the extensive operations and logistics of running one of the world's longest ocean races.

Adding, Mark said: "In addition to welcoming Tom, I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Dan Smith for all his hard work. He has been a fantastic race Skipper and a great Deputy Race Director, most recently stepping in to lead the Greenings team to victory in our opening race following the unexpected medevac of their own Skipper. Dan will surely be missed among the organisation and of course we wish him all the best with his next endeavours."

The Clipper 2017-18 Race is currently on stopover in Cape Town, South Africa, having just completed Race 2 of the 13-stage series. The fleet will remain berthed at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront until 31 October when Race 3, the Southern Ocean leg to Fremantle, Western Australia, sets sail.

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