Roy Taylor, 47 from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, has the Royal Air Force to thank for his love of sailing. In 1998 and 2004, he represented the RAF in the Exercise Transglobe, a tri-service round the world race.

Those two experiences gave Roy the sailing bug which has culminated in him achieving his biggest life achievement to date; selection as one of the twelve Clipper 2017-18 Race Skippers.

In recent times, Roy has dedicated himself to training others in the sport of sailing. He has spent the last six years as Sailing Master and relief captain on the Marine Society and Sea Cadets of the United Kingdom’s training brig, TS Royalist, in Gosport, which trains and teaches teenagers important life skills through sailing.

"While this is a race, it’s also an exercise in bringing people from different backgrounds together and moulding then into a strong, safe, efficient and competitive team," says Roy.

"My experience in putting together 24 young people into a team, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and potential conflicts and tensions on TS Royalist will be invaluable throughout the Clipper Race."

During his time in the RAF, Roy served firstly as a Weapons Mechanic and then a Weapons Technician. He is the veteran of several deployments, including serving in an operational theatre in Kuwait, for which he received a General Service Medal (Air Operations Iraq).

Of all the skills he developed during his Air Force career, Roy believes the ability to remain calm under pressure, (the by-product of ten years of experience on RAF fast jet squadrons), will come most in handy when faced with all Mother Nature can brew up out at sea.

"You need a great deal of flexibility to meet the challenging, and often changing, flying program."

"The same sort of attitude is needed at sea, especially when in charge of a large crew in some of the toughest conditions on earth."