Met the crew : Whiskey Jack

At each stage, we zoom in on a crew. To begin with, we meet the crew from Canada, Mélodie Schaffer and Gary Jacques. We asked them about their sailing career and what motivated them to take part in this round-the-world trip. Interview.

Mélodie, Gary, can you tell us about your career as a sailor ?

Mélodie : “I grew up sailing groups. I did lots of lessons when i was young. I was on the provincial team and Canada racing nationally. And quite seriously racing Laser for 70s International 14s. And then Gary and I actually met in University. We were and raced together then in international 14s. And then I kept sailing but I had a family I had my career. And maybe four years ago, I went and did my first offshore race. And I did the Caribbean 600 race and I went the following year and did it and literally I came home and I told my family I said listen, I forgot who I am. I forgot how much I love sailing and this is such a new challenge and I have to do more of it. So, I have picked it up since then in the last three years. I have just ramped right up with getting as much in as I can working around my family. I have three kids at home. They’re all just graduating. So now I get to go and have these experiences I want to have and I get to push myself and challenge myself.”

Gary : “I grew up being a sailor from the time I was 10 years old. Learning the dinghies. I was our provincial representative in National regatta’s from the time I was 13 to maybe 19. Racing lasers for 20s. And I moved to Texas and started offshore racing in about 1988 and I raced a lot in Texas. I Started offshore sailing originally from about 25 doing some several Atlantic crossings. And then offshore racing is relatively new to me in about five years ago. I did the race Volvo 60 from Antigua to Bermuda. And I’ve done some racing around the west coast of Canada. Offshore race around Vancouver Island and so on. We’ve raced a lot in Caribbean in various boats where I’ve sort of run the boat. Not really super competitive but in the big boat racing. So I have a lot of sailing experience, but compared to some of the people here who have a lot of offshore experience, I’m very amateur. I joined this campaign relatively recently in February and started working first time on the Class40 in march. We sailed from Antigua to the UK and to get some work done there, deliver the boat for the race.” 

What is your motivation for doing the Globe40?

Mélodie : “It’s going to be an amazing experience. So, I bought this boat last summer and so I’m new to the fleet then lots of racing and to race against Sailors like this. I think will be extraordinary and then to go around the world… I mean, it’s definitely a bucket list item for an offshore sailor to have a race around the world.” 

Gary : “It’s spectacular. It’s an amazing race. The boats are spectacular. They’re fun. They’re safe. The destinations are very beautiful. The other thing is sort of the message that the Globe40 has about it’s an adventure. It’s a race, but it’s an adventure. It’s a family. And I thought that was very compelling part of the story.”

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