Martin Clough has spent his career on the ocean as a sailing instructor and racer. In 1979, he competed in the Operation Drake round the world expedition and first skippered in the Clipper Race back in 2000-01, when he led the Portsmouth team in its circumnavigation.
Martin, 58, was born in Lancashire, but now lives close to Lake Windermere in Cumbria, UK. He stepped in as a relief Skipper for Unicef in Albany, Western Australia when original Skipper Jim Prendergast fell ill. Having taken charge of the Unicef crew for the All-Australian leg, including the iconic Sydney-Hobart Race, he will now continue that journey from Qingdao to Race Finish in London on 30 July.
On re-joining the team in Qingdao for the remainder of the race to London, Martin says: "I am very excited about getting back on board. The All-Australian Leg 4 taster has whet my appetite. I love a challenge but also having met and raced with the Unicef team, I wanted to continue with them. They are a great bunch of guys!
"Years ago I was on Op Drake a ground breaking expedition and a lot of the work it accomplished marries well with Unicef goals. In Race 7, the Da Nang - Viet Nam team passed very close to one of the islands where I was working and it brought back very strong and fond memories."
Having raced against Qingdao Skipper Bob Beggs in the 2000-01 race, Martin added: "Another reason for getting involved was to go to the assistance of Bob Beggs. He was getting ruffled about being the oldest skipper in the race! He still looks the oldest!"
With a specialism in Mechanical Engineering, Martin has worked as an instructor and engineer in the super yacht industry. From 2003, he spent a decade training instructors in the RYA, even helping to launch the RYA schemes in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
He has a wealth of experience working on the Tall Ships, including a period of time as Relief Commanding Officer and Sailing Master on the Brig Tall Ship Royalist.
Martin also runs a successful bespoke joinery manufacturing business in the Cumbrian Lakes.
My greatest strength: Always find a solution, strength of will and determination
My biggest weakness:: Crap swimmer!
My proudest achievement:: Selection to go on Op Drake and skiing down Bow Fell Gully!
Three words that describe me:: Firm, fair and frank.
Outside of sailing, I spend my time:: Skiing and ski mountaineering, rock climbing and making and eating pancakes!