Hannah Brewis is an accomplished Melton born sailor, who fell in love with her trade at the age of eight, thanks to regular visits to Rutland Water…
Now 26, she has succeeded in turning her passion into an amazing, awe- inspiring career – one which sees her embrace the elements and glide into unpredictable new adventures every single day!
Earlier this year, Hannah was selected to take on one of the toughest jobs in professional sailing – acting as a skipper on the upcoming 2023-24 Clipper Round the World Race.
Following an intensive selection process, she joins ten other skippers from the UK, South Africa, Uruguay, Portugal and the Netherlands who will set sail come October. They’ll be responsible for teams of non- professional sailors, leading them safely as they race around the globe over a period of 11 months.
Being asked to lead the challenge is a “dream come true” for Hannah, who is one of just two female skippers to be selected.
“When I started out in my yachting career, I imagined this. However, you don’t actually think you’ll ever get there. I’m honoured and excited and can’t wait to get started,” she said.
“I’m a very competent sailor and I know boats very well. However, there’s a lot more to this job other than sailing. ”
“It’s also about your people skills and how you handle yourself when situations get difficult – remaining calm and things like that,” she went on to explain.
“There’ll be a lot of people on the boat at any one time in a relatively small space, so you need to be able to keep control, keep them motivated and happy… I’m looking forward to the challenge, and to meeting a crazy variety of people from all across the world. It’ll be great to bring them all together for a common goal – something pretty special and pretty unique!”
Hannah has 40,000 nautical miles of experience behind her and that is crucial for those given the job as they teach their crew – many of whom do not have prior sailing experience.
Her love of water began in the county, when she took part in dinghy sailing in Rutland Water as a youngster.
When she was 14, Hannah went sailing on the Baltic Sea as part of an organised yacht trip, and it was here where she realised her tremendous skill on the water.
“At the end of the week, I remember the organisers telling me, ‘you’re really good at this, you’ve got the right mindset’. I thought that’s great – that’s really cool!” she revealed.
“I’d never been great inside a classroom. I love the freedom of being on the water and I love the outdoors, so I don’t think it’s a wild surprise that this is where I’ve ended up!
“To be able to sail for a living, and now to have this opportunity is amazing really – a dream come true!
“It’s tough and there aren’t many females that do it. To push through the discrimination that exists in a male dominated world and achieve this at such a young age, I’m pretty proud! ”
The 2023-24 Clipper Round the World Race is described as ‘one of the biggest challenges of the natural world’ and ‘an endurance test like no other.’
The route is divided into eight legs and between 13 and 16 individual races, including six ocean crossings.
When it starts, the race will see the yachts set off from the UK and then circumnavigate the globe, hitting South Africa, Australia and China before returning home.
Hannah says that she’s looking forward to some extreme weather on board her yacht courtesy of ‘Mother Nature’.
“As part of this challenge, we’ll be sailing across the biggest oceans in the world, and the conditions that you can get in that can be pretty crazy – 70 foot waves, extreme storms – very wet, windy and cold. We often sail through The Tropics where it’s the opposite – unbearably hot and there’s no wind which is also a challenge,” she explained.
“Mother Nature is something that you really have to respect, and I have always loved it because it just does whatever it wants no matter what you want!
“It’s not always the most fun at the time, but when you come through the other side, it’s an experience you never forget!
“The days that are really nice easy sailing, they’re lovely but you don’t tend to remember them,” she added.
“The days you remember are those when there were 50 notts of wind behind you and the waves were crashing on the boat. Those are the ones that really make you. ”