#sailorofthemonth – Sean McCarter of Lough Swilly Yacht Club is Sailor of the Month for January after some very successful skippering of the Irish entry Derry/Londonderry/Doire in the current Clipper Round the World Race.
With this latest edition's major breakthrough in having the Tony Castro-designed 70ft Clippers included in the classic annual Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race as part of the fleet, and as a class in their own right, the 31-year-old McCarter's skills as a racing skipper, honed from a very early age on Lough Swilly, became evident as he sailed his boat to a four hour class victory in the challenging race to Hobart.
He then showed that this much-improved form was no flash in the pan by placing second in the Clipper race's next leg, Hobart to Brisbane. And in the current very long stage, from Brisbane to Singapore, DLDD has spent most of the race in the top three, sometimes in the lead. But the extreme flukiness of sailing conditions in the final stages to Singapore means that the finishing placings are open to sudden change.
But when the breezes have been strong, the Donegal sailor has come into his own, making him a clearcut winner of our latest Afloat.ie "Sailor of the Month" rankings.
Ready to party – Sean McCarter on shore leave from DLDD. Photo: Clodagh Whelan
Ready to sail – Sean McCarter aged 4 at the helm in Lough Swilly