Where will Sailing Take you? Interview with Kim Guthrie

Kim Guthrie video transcript

Hi, I hope you’re all having a good day. Emma from Sailingfast sent me through a few questions that she would like me to answer for you. And I will get cracking with them now…

First of all, what is your name and occupation?

So my name is Kim Guthrie, it used to be Kim Ross before I married my husband Douglas, and I’m currently a stewardess on an 80 metre motor yacht called Chopi Chopi. In the last 10 years or so are so I’ve been an academic, I’ve worked at charity, I’ve been a sailing instructor and most recently I’ve been a secondary school Geography teacher before joining the motor yacht and the reason for that will become clear as I answer these questions, hopefully.

So secondly, where do you stay?

At the moment I stay on Chopi Chopi. We’re currently in Italy, in Imperia on the Italian Riviera. It’s our offseason at the moment but during the summer we travel around the whole of the Mediterranean. We joined the boat in the Caribbean so we’re kind of ocean nomads at the moment. The boat is just here, I don’t know if you can see… (video turns to show 80m motor yacht Chopi Chopi). So yeah, it’s quite, quite different to living in a house!

And how did you get into sailing?

So I got into sailing through my parents – they both have sailed for very long time. And when? As soon as I was born really, six weeks old, they took me for my first sail on the west coast of Scotland in their 26-foot Hunter Horizon yacht. We did a bit of cruising as a family on the west coast and then I got into dinghy sailing when I was about 10 years old, started racing when I was 15 and joined the Scottish squad shortly after that.

What years were you in the Scottish Topper squad, and who was your coach?

I was in the Scottish squad I think from 2000, until 2002 and after the Topper squad I was then in the Laser squad from 2002 to 2004. My topper coaches were Duncan Hepplewhite and Roy McCubbin for the two years that I was in the squad and.

What was the best bit about Topper squad?

I have some really, really fond memories of the Topper squad. The best bit about being in the squad for me, for definite, was the people that I met through the opportunity that the squad provided. Some of the people that I met there I am still really, really close friends with today. We went through, what felt at the time as 15-16 year olds, to be quite challenging things sailing-wise, with very, very windy weather at Cumbrae. We had some pretty some pretty extreme weather! Obviously just being away from your parents for the weekend and getting to hang out with your pals and learn lots of amazing stuff about sailing was definitely a highlight. I think I also learned, probably, to be a bit more resilient in bad weather from being in the squad as well.

Next question. What did you sail after the Topper, and why?

I’ve already mentioned that I moved into the Laser after the Topper squad. I very briefly was in the 420 but I much, much prefer sailing by myself, because I like that I’m the only one accountable I think for the results I was getting. I was the right weight for the Radial and it really suited my sailing style and my personality so I moved into the Laser. I was in the Laser Scottish Squad for two years after the Topper squad.

Next question what do you sail at the moment? And where are you right now?

I’ve kind of already answered the ‘where are you right now?’. I guess this is probably a good time to explain how I ended up in Imperia in Italy and on a motor yacht rather than a sailing boat. I don’t have, no yes, I’ve got an RS 200, it’s a little bit abandoned our home club at Loch Morlich but I don’t have a sailing boat as such, at the moment. My parents do however, they’ve got a Halberg Rassey 352. And two years ago, my husband and I, Douglas, he sails as well, he used to race against me in Toppers and (bragging rights) I used to beat him quite regularly, which is good. He’s a much better yacht sailor than me so we kind of come up, equal, and we decided we were a little bit fed up with the weather in Scotland, a little bit, we were a little bit fed up with our jobs and we wanted to go on an adventure. We persuaded my parents that would be a good idea to sail all the way to the Caribbean, and on their Halberg Rassey 352, which we did in 2018. Kind of just before Christmas 2018, and we lived with them on that boat for six months, cruising all the way down from Scotland across the Atlantic to St Lucia and then around the Caribbean for a couple months. We decided, Douglas and I, that we wanted to earn a bit of money that we wanted to go off on our own path for a little while as well. So we looked for some day work on a superyacht over there because it’s quite good way of making money and topping up the funds for future adventures. We were very lucky and grateful to end up on the same boat together and that’s how we have managed to get some work on this beast of a motor yacht which would have been nicer if it was a sailing yacht but it’s good that we’re both on the same boat and living together exploring new places.  

So I’m not sure if that answers the question… what are you sailing at the moment and where are you right now? Yeah I guess that does kind of answer that.

So, what’s the coolest thing you have done/Best adventure you have had related to sailing?

I just talked about sailing across the Atlantic, in my parents’ Halberg Rassey, I think for, for me, and I think for Douglas as well, even before then we, I think this is what I’m most proud of actually, I think I’m more proud of this than of sailing across the Atlantic. We had a Sonata, a 22-23-foot Sonata, which we sailed all the way around Scotland from Helensburgh right up around Cape Wrath up to Orkney, back down the East Coast and then through the Forth and Clyde canal over seven weeks in 2015. I think that’s most definitely the thing that I am most proud of in sailing. It was very challenging. It was only dry for five days out of the seven weeks and we sailed 800 miles. And for those of you who don’t know Sonatas, they’re pretty basic. They don’t have any facilities; they certainly don’t have a head [toilet]. They don’t have…, ours didn’t have cooking facilities, we cooked on a gas stove in the cockpit. And it was fantastic. We loved it! It was, it was challenging, but we were, we were really happy. We were cold together, wet together. But then dry together and enjoying all the great places that Scotland has to offer on the West Coast and up to Orkney especially. Obviously sailing across the Atlantic is a huge achievement as well and I am, of course, very proud of that and proud of us as a family for having being able to live, again in a relatively small boat, the 352, doing that. And when we were halfway across the Atlantic, my Mum spotted a turtle, which was tangled up in fishing line and Douglas jumped overboard, he had about five kilometres of water beneath him and, and we managed to get this turtle on board and cut the fishing line from it, which is a pretty incredible experience to have. And so yeah, sailing has really been some pretty amazing things places that it’s taken me and, and hopefully that will continue into the future.

Talking about the future coming to the last question: sailing plans for the future?

At the moment we are planning on staying on the motor yacht Chopi chopi for a little while longer. Douglas is working through his engineering exams to be able to get a rotational two on two off, two months on two months off position, hopefully. We’re also saving some money, quite a lot of money and we’re hoping to, in the next five years, buy ourselves our own yacht, and hopefully, hopefully, circumnavigate in the future. We still love racing – we persuaded my parents to do West Highland Week in the 352, and we’ve had a couple of Sonatas in the past. We would love to get another one in the future and continue racing, and hopefully get out in our RS 200 up in Loch Morlich as well. So, yeah, we love living on the water. We wish that it was on sailing boat and we’re working hard to make that dream a reality. Anyway, hope you enjoy the rest of your day, and thank you very much.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai and edited by Emma Hepplewhite.

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