Matt always tells his kids to follow their dreams and he thought it’s about time to lead by example.
Having grown up in Zimbabwe, a land locked country in Southern Africa, Matt’s first experience of sailing came at 14 years of age in a storm whilst crossing the English Channel on the infamous Jolie Brise (JB). After nearly losing a mate overboard and being wet, cold and miserable for 5 days, he was prepared to walk away from the smells and endeavours of sailing for good. If it wasn’t for the persistence of the Skipper inviting him back in the summer with the promise of fair winds and adventure, whilst delivering “JB’ to Ireland, Matt may have never discovered the joys of offshore sailing.
Over the next 14 years Matt crewed and was mate on “JB’, sailed in various Tall Ship races, sailed the Australian leg of the Ocean Youth Club’s circumnavigation of the world, completed as Bowman in the Sigma 33 Scottish and National Series, various offshore 2-handed races and competed in one offshore classic, the Fastnet in 2005. All this culminated in selection for the 2008 Global Challenge which was Matt’s dream to sail around the world the “Wrong Way’. However, after failing to secure a title sponsor, the organising company Challenge Business went into administration in 2006, dashing Matt’s dream of sailing around the world. Coincidently in the same week Matt, a chartered Naval Architect, got offered a job in Australia to build ships for the Royal Australian Navy, with no round the world event planned, he emigrated and left the UK with his family. Whilst in Australia a change in personal circumstances resulted in sailing taking a back seat to bringing up a young family, building Ships and recovering from a serious sporting injury which required learning how to walk and run again. However, the dream of sailing around the world continually festered in his mind. After reading about the OGR 2023 and an internet search of the participating yachts, Matt reached out to a hometown entrant led by Campbell Mackie and the opportunity has grown from there.
Even though Matt has sailing experience he still considerers himself inexperienced. Matt is looking forward to learning from all members of the “Outlaw” Team to learn to become a better sailor, racer, adventurer and Team member whilst experiencing the adventure of OGR 2023 and what nature has to offer in 5 of the 7 Seven Seas.