An adventurous former student at Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools will be racing around the world on a 70-ft ocean yacht in one of the toughest endurance challenges.
Monmouth’s Angus Whitehead, aged 20, has been chosen as one of just 11 professional sailors to circumnavigate the globe in the Clipper 2023-24 Race.
Monmouth Rowing Club’s Eric Froggatt is also making the trip all the way round as a crew member, having done part of the race in 2018, while former Metropolitan Police officer David Hartshorn from Chepstow will be skiper one of the boats
Angus, who left Monmouth School for Boy after his A levels in 2021, is an AQP (Additional Qualified Person), also known as a First Mate, for the 40,000nm competition.
Headmaster at Monmouth School for Boys, Mr Simon Dorman, said: “Angus is one of the youngest AQPs of the Clipper Race and has leadership qualities, sailing experience and calmness far beyond his years.
“Angus developed his sense of adventure and grew his outstanding leadership skills when he was at Monmouth. He was a talented and confident rower in our school’s rowing club.
“As an AQP, Angus will be racing with a crew and applying his skills to help them harness their strengths and create a cohesive unit on board. We are all very proud of Angus’ selection for the Clipper Race and we cannot wait to see him flourish further.”
Angus first started sailing at the age of 13 and has sailed more than 12,000 nautical miles. He has raced dinghies at national-level competitions, multiple laser races and as a tactician for a local race skiff in Bequia.
Over the past year, Angus has sailed more than 3,000 miles as a lead skipper of a flotilla in Greece and Croatia. Additionally, he captained the Friendship Rose, a 75-foot traditionally-built Caribbean Schooner, in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Angus said: “Being awarded this role means more than I can put into words. I am excited about the challenges of working alongside the Skipper to form a group of people from different walks of life into an ocean racing team.
“I am most looking forward to the swells and strong winds of the Roaring Forties from South Africa to Australia as it will be one of the biggest hurdles to conquer.”
He added: “I want to learn from some of the best Skippers in the world to not only compete but also win the Clipper Race. One day, I want to be a Race Skipper.”
During The Clipper Race, 11 teams, consisting of non-professional sailors from a range of backgrounds, nationalities and sailing experience, will face the rawest and most difficult ocean conditions.
They are likely to battle huge swells, freezing temperatures and hurricane force winds during the epic 11-month circumnavigation.
Outside of sailing, Angus is a keen pilot, who flies powered and non-powered aircraft. At age 16, Angus graduated from the Air Cadet Leadership Course at RAF Cranwell with Merit.
Later, Angus was then one of just 13 cadets awarded an RAF flying scholarship in the 2020. He is also a qualified glider pilot from the South Wales Gliding Club.
Angus and his fellow First Mates are now based at Clipper Race HQ in Gosport, where they join the 11 selected Race Skippers for weeks of intensive training to hone their skills.
Angus’ proud mum, Mrs Angela Whitehead, from Monmouth, said: “Angus was selected from a pool of more than 300 sailors and, as a family, we are bursting with pride.
“We have so much admiration and respect for Angus because his enthusiasm, drive, kindness and modesty are infectious.
“His belief in others is exhilarating and we are completely in awe of what Angus has achieved so far in his young but very active life.
“Angus is an amazing young man and his determination to think outside the box and throw himself into such incredible challenges, like this, should be bottled and sold.”