Captain James knows haul about yachting

09:57 28 August 2014

James George

James George

Archant

James George was a nine-year-old schoolboy at Newport Free Grammar School when he was first taught to sail by his father.

Now the 38-year-old has captained the 40ft J122 racing yacht Jellyfish to victory in the non-stop, fortnight-long Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland race.

Twenty nine yachts set off from Cowes on August 11 at 9am, with James’ boat finishing first in the IRC Class Two at 2.52pm on August 22, seven miles ahead of the next yacht – the first chartered yacht to win in the history of the 2,067 mile race.

Eleven boats had to retire before the end, a testament 
to the difficulty of the contest – and Jellyfish had its hairy moments too.

As they sailed round Shetland, the crew had to combat Force 9-10 winds on the Beaufort scale and battle 30ft waves.

“We were sailing on the tail-end of Hurricane Bertha, and running into the back of another,” James, the skipper, said.

The Jellyfish crew found it was impossible to dock the boat in the gale-force conditions, and they rode out the storm for nine hours sailing in a square.

“I was lucky that my dad had in interest in boats,” said James of his early love of sailing, adding that the headteacher at Newport Free Grammar at the time, Kenneth Hall, had organised a sailing club every Friday at the school which developed his love of the pursuit.

James now works in mergers and acquisitions, but he keeps his passions alive, playing the trumpet in several bands when not sailing the high seas.

The father-of-one has won the Rolex Middle Sea Race twice, but this is the first time he has competed in the Sevenstar race. Will he be taking part again?

His dad Dave, who lives in Henham, thinks James may now look to take a break from his life at sea to spend more time with his wife Lucy and six-year-old son.

Although his future competitive activity in the sailing arena may be unknown, what is clear is that son Harry will be learning the ropes from James, just as his father did before him, 29 years ago.

“I taught him to sail when he was nine, and he won his first yacht race when he was 12,” Dave said, who like his son is Yachtmaster qualified. “I’m very proud of what he’s achieved.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Saffron Walden Reporter visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Saffron Walden Reporter staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Saffron Walden Reporter account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

Yesterday, 17:48
Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for Saffron Walden, Councillor Mike Hibbs.

Have your questions answered tomorrow night (Friday) in the run-up to the election at Saffron Walden’s Question Time.

Yesterday, 09:20
Jo Bradshaw, 44, is attempting to be the first British woman to climb both Everest and Lhotse in one trip.

An adventure leader from Great Chishill is set to become the first British woman to scale two of the highest mountains in the world – in just one trip.

Wed, 17:52
Joy Turnbull (centre) enjoyed a surprise 90th birthday celebration at the Garden Room on Friday. Representatives from insitutions in the town she helped establish were present, including those from Lions Club of Saffron Walden, the town's Mencap branch and the Garden Room.

The remarkable achievements of a 90-year-old woman were celebrated last week in the day centre she was instrumental in founding.

Wed, 17:43
Jeremy Reed celebrating his arrival in Melbourne with daughter Cathryn.

A Newport father-of-two has completed a 15,000 mile expedition to raise money for orphaned children.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Saffron Walden Reporter e-edition today E-edition

Most read stories

Most commented stories