SKIING MIGHT BE MY FIRST PASSION BUT…
Guest blogger Cara Brown is a professional skier, British Ski Champion, Sailor and bikini designer.
“The most difficult question someone can ask me is “where are you from?”. I have Scottish parents, I was born in London and I grew up in Italy.
The next most difficult question is “what do you prefer, the sea or the mountains?”. I am a full-time ski racer, which means I see a lot of mountains and snow! My job allows me to travel the globe across Europe, the US, South America and New Zealand in search of races and training. However, the one place it doesn’t take me is the ocean… that’s where Horizon comes in!
My parents have owned a boat with Horizon Yacht Charters for 17 years, I think we may be the longest owners in the company, a fact that I’m very proud of. We bought our first boat back in 2002, a Bavaria 44, “Hakuna Matata” and we based it at the Horizon Yacht Charters BVI base. In 2007, we upgraded to a Beneteau 523 which sank in Hurricane Irma in 2017. Our current boat “Hakuna Matata III” is a beautiful Bavaria 46 Cruiser.
I guess you could say that my sailing journey started in 2003. Actually it didn’t…Up until about 2 years ago, I believed that “sailing” consisted of sitting on the side of the boat reading books while my parents ran around the cockpit pulling in sheets and shouting Lee-ho! Despite my lack of interest in sailing, I still thought that cruising around crystal blue waters and white sand beaches was a pretty good holiday!
In 2015 my Dad attended a Diesel engine course at UKSA (UK sailing association) on the Isle of Wight, England. He said there were lots of young people there and they offered lots of courses so I should have a look. 99% of courses at UKSA are designed to get people great jobs in superyachts, yacht deliveries, charter yachts etc. However, they offer one course which just lets you go dinghy sailing and windsurfing for two weeks; so that’s the course I went for! I had a brilliant time and it turns out that despite sitting on the side of the boat for years I had picked up a thing or two and I wasn’t bad at it! UKSA also opened up my eyes to job opportunities in the maritime industry and it didn’t take me long to realise that I wanted a future on boats after ski racing. I’ve been working my way up to my YachtMaster qualification for the past year, hoping to sit the exam next spring.
During this time I sent a message to Tubes, co-owner of Horizon Yacht Charters, explaining that I needed to gain sea mileage towards my qualification and asking for his help. He suggested that I join the delivery of a brand new Nautitech Fly 46 (now named Quiet Flight) from Annapolis to the BVI. He also asked me to join the Horizon team at the Annapolis Boat Show! I had a fantastic time in Annapolis; it was so interesting to see “behind the scenes” in the charter yacht industry. An incredible amount of work goes in behind the scenes at Horizon, it’s very impressive!
This year Tubes needed a crew to deliver some brand new boats from Guadeloupe to their base in the BVI. I jumped at the opportunity and did my first skippered delivery in October, albeit with my parents making up my excellent crew!
My competitive side comes out in sailing too. If you’re ever out sailing near me and we’re heading in the same direction, you might not know it but we’re racing! I’m never someone to stay in one place so being able to wake up to a new view every morning is a huge plus to living afloat.
Skiing might be my first passion for now but I have so much time to give to sailing and I can’t wait to see the doors it opens up for me in the future”.