Gavin Doyle, Payments Expert on Sailing

I’m Gavin Doyle, I’m a Senior Business Development Manager for an industry leading online gaming company.

I have had previous roles in Product Management in gaming and payments, where I discovered my passion for the commercial side of the business. I’m from Dublin where I studied marketing, business and then completed a post graduate Diploma in product management at DIT and am now living in London and in the final stages of an MBA at Henley Business School.

What inspired me to choose my career in payments and gaming is that I’m always keen to see change and like things to move fast with me, so both industries are the perfect fit for my personality – payments can be slightly on the serious side but gaming is fun, and both deliver a fast paced environment to work in!

Outside of work, I’m a keen fitness enthusiast and love to go to the gym or cycle after the daily grind to blow off steam. I’m a member of a local CrossFit gym. It allows me to eat whatever I want (within reason) and delivers a great level of fitness for my true passion sailing.

I feel like I have always been interested in sailing. My dad put me in a life jacket when I was still in nappies and his passion for the sport must have rubbed off on me. He was introduced to the water by my Grandad who won the Liffey Swim in 1931.

I’ve sailed everything from single handed and double handed dinghies to fully crewed yachts across the Atlantic Ocean. Currently I sail on a 35 foot Offshore yacht based out of the Hamble River on the south coast of England. The team competes in The Royal Ocean Racing Clubs offshore races. As a team we have had a good degree of success, winning the Channel Race in 2016 and finishing 3rd in the 2017 edition.

We recently finished the Fastnet race in August which is considered the Everest of yacht racing and is a 650 mile race from Cowes (Isle of Wight) to the Fastnet rock off Baltimore, Co Cork and finishes up in Plymouth, Devon. The race is famed for the 1979 disaster where 18 sailors and rescuers lost their lives when a worse than expected storm wreaked havoc on an unsuspecting fleet of 306 yachts.

The race took us 4 days, 15 hours and 14 minutes and involved non-stop racing throughout the duration with 3 hours on watch and 2 hour slot off at night to catch some sleep. Despite some issues along the way we finished 23rd in our class with 384 boats to start.

Whilst I’m involved in Offshore racing, I also regularly sail a double handed keel boat called a Flying Fifteen. It’s an older design of boat (1947) however it has evolved over time and now is one of the premier one-design racing classes in the UK & Ireland, with an active scene both locally and nationally.

As I live in London I’m an active member of Datchet Water Sailing Club, but my home club will always be in Dun Laoghaire, I’m an overseas member of both the National Yacht Club and the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

I do most of my sailing in a competitive environment, that said sailing is a great way to see the world. When I was in college I spent my summers on a J1 visa in the USA teaching sailing in Boston and Hawaii and then two summers skippering a live-aboard sail training yacht from St. Maarten around the Caribbean. Needless to say I got to experience tonnes of culture.

These experiences continue as regularly as possible; myself and my wife Sarah charter a yacht for a week or two in the summer as a holiday and sail with friends – so far our favourite location has been the island of Hydra in Greece where we got engaged!

Sailing provides a mix of relaxation and adrenaline, it just depends on the activity type, be it cruising in the Adriatic or racing, it’s really quite adaptable. Sailing can be a holiday, a weekend race or just a good activity to do with friends.

The worst thing about sailing is the image it portrays – elitism. It’s hard to shake off and many of its organisations especially in Ireland are trying very hard to do that. If you want to get out for a Saturday race there are many yachts looking for crew and it’ll cost you nothing once you have learned how it all works.

Dublin Bay is my home sailing location and I will always love sailing there, if I was to say my favourite place outside of Ireland it must be either the Med or the Caribbean.

Mastering sailing is time consuming but I think to grasp the basics it’s actually quite easy. I’d suggest to anyone who is interested that they should talk to their local sailing club or school to see what they offer. Many clubs offer adult beginner courses which are extremely successful.

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