Episode 58 of The Sailing Podcast is with Jack Bouttell, who is currently on a trajectory towards sailing in the Vendee Globe. At 24 years old he has a few significant achievements under his belt, including winning the ‘bizuth’ division of the Solitaire Du Figaro in 2013, sailing on Dongfeng during winning a leg of the Volvo ocean race earlier this year, and then returning to the 2015 Solitaire Du Figaro and claiming a top 10 placing.
One of Jack’s advantages is having set his goals early in life. This included choosing to remain in England at the age of 17, while his family returned to Australia. His acceptance into the Artemis Offshore Academy provided the opportunity to train and compete in the Class Figaro – a world class training ground for solo sailors.
During the interview we hear about:
- The 52 hour test to enter the Artemis Offshore Academy
- Winning a leg of the Volvo Ocean Race aboard Dongfeng
- The challenges and lifestyle of a professional sailor
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Jack Bouttell Racing
As a youngster Jack started sailing on the Gold Coast, QLD, where his father purchased a MG14 for $1000. A passion for sailing began to take root as Jack and his crew worked and raced the boat.
At 14 years old the family moved to England where Jack continued to sail. His thoughts began to turn to the ultimate sailing challenge, solo racing, after he buried his head into sailing books such as:
During this interview I asked Jack about what had contributed to his drive and determination to reach for goal such as sailing in the Vendee Globe. Having a father who previously raced at a world class level and a mother who supported his dreams has given him a great start in life.
The door into the solo sailing world came in the form of the Artemis Offshore Academy. Jack explained the goals of the academy – to put a British sailor onto the podium of the Vendee Globe. Acceptance into the Artemis Offshore Academy included a gruelling 52 hour entrance exam. The candidates had to self manage their activities, such as food and sleep, while completing a range of tasks. Physical and mental competence was measured at the beginning and end of the test. Once accepted Jack began to focus on the Solitaire Du Figaro.
In 2013 Jack Bouttell finished in a remarkable 21st place overall and won the rookie, or bizuth’ division of the race. While he struggled to get to the line in the 2014 Solitaire Du Figaro, Jack still managed to remain competitive. Jack reflects that many valuable lessons were learnt in his 2014 campaign. This included the need to be in peak mental condition as well as physically prepared for the race. After the 2014 race he began work for the Dongfeng team, preparing for the 2014/2015 Volvo Ocean Race.
Jack Boutell turns 24 aboard Dongfeng
Jack was given the opportunity to join the 3rd leg aboard Dongfeng in the Volvo Ocean race. With his duties as trimmer and helmsman, Jack was able to take part in a special event – the arrival of the Chinese Yacht into the Chinese port in first place. A great accomplishment for the young sailor to add to an already impressive resume of competitive sailing.
After securing a leg on the Volvos, Jack returned to Europe to once again focus on the Figaro race. Jacks preparations payed dividends. With improved financial resources and continuing support of the Artemis Offshore Academy he demonstrated his potential and placed 10th in the field.
The current challenge for Jack Bouttell is the Jacques-Vabre Transat race. This is a 2 handed yacht race following the historic coffee route from France to Brazil. The start date is October 25 2015 and you can follow the progress of:
Jack Bouttell Racing at www.facebook.com/jackbouttellracing
The Transat Jacques Vabre at http://www.transat-jacques-vabre.com
- Here you will find updates on the event and team results.
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