Vicky Ellis was the only female skipper in the 2013–14 Clipper round the world yacht race. At the age of 31, she took the helm of the yacht ‘Switzerland’ and led an amateur crew on an eleven-month challenge of a lifetime, racing across some of the most remote and hostile oceans on this planet.
A sailor from a young age, she started racing at 8 and became involved in sail training in her teens, leading and developing crews of young people from challenging backgrounds. By her early 20s, she was a qualified commercial skipper and competed in her first ocean race, surviving a mid-Atlantic hurricane to take overall victory.
Vicky has also spent time in the corporate world. After studying Mechanical Engineering at university, she worked as an Aero-structures engineer and later a Programme Manager for the consultancy company Atkins, demonstrating an aptitude for team development and leadership. The desire to push her leadership skills further led her to return to the sailing world in pursuit of the challenge of a lifetime.
The Clipper race provided her with some fierce challenges and incredible experiences. The journey to get there was just as difficult and she did nothing comfortable to achieve the huge skill set and competencies demanded of an ocean racing Skipper.
Vicky was the second ever female skipper to complete the Clipper race in its nine editions and the first female skipper ever to lead her team to the top of the podium on a leg of the race. Her campaign focused successfully on the team and individual development of her international crew who became one of the most respected, capable and high performing teams on the race.