Son of Port Elizabeth, Michael Giles grew up sailing an Optimist Dinghy on the banks of the Swartkops River, Redhouse. Giles cut his teeth on the 7 foot 9 inch craft tacking back and forth and learning how brutal the tides could be to progress against them.
Michael went on to represent South Africa at two Optimist National events and secure South African Sailing Colours twice in a Laser Dinghy. The highlight of his sailing career was representing South Africa as part of Team Shosholoza campaigning for the oldest sporting trophy in the the world – The Americas Cup.
Presently Giles is ‘Skimming’ from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro on a 74 foot monster multihull, Skimmer, which left Cape Town on 1 January 2017 and is presently 1 373 nautical miles from Rio de Janeiro. Michael is the Navigator as they make they way to Rio.
Skimmer leaving Cape Town for Rio de Janeiro on 1 January 2017 in the Cape2Rio race.
Onboard this 74 foot catamaran are: Skipper – Peter Leube, Navigator – Michael Giles and Crew – Tammy Floyd, Steve Floyd, Guy Nottingham, Richard Floyd, Peter Skeat, Colleen Leube and David Shilton.
Skimmer was launched in 2016 from Two Oceans Marine, was designed by Du Toit Designs, Cape Town. Navigator Michael Giles is from Port Elizabeth. Skimmer is available for Charter.
An Open Ocean 740 Performance Cruising Catamaran, Skimmer has been designed with a tall rig, carrying a large sail area, and a deep keel and rudder to offer above-average levels of performance. She has a pleasing low-profile fly bridge design, yet one still has the feeling of being on a much larger yacht. Designed to cruise the world, the 740S has a comfortable interior that has been optimised for the best use of space and interior flow. She has 5 double en suite cabins, accommodating 10 people comfortably, as well as 2 crew cabins to accommodate 4 crew, allowing the owners to welcome guests onto their boat wherever they may be in the world.
Mike has combined a BSC Construction Management degree from NMMU (then UPE) and a passion for sailing. In addition to competing in the Americas Cup in Valencia and a host of other high profile events around the world, he has project managed leading boat building projects. His constant drive for performance, quiet nature and team leader skills has made him a sought after member for many projects.
Whilst not racing, he enjoys outdoor activities that are physically and mentally challenging.
Some Sailing Accolades:
1986 US Optimist Dinghy Nationals
1988 US Optimist Dinghy Nationals
1995 South African Optimist Worlds Team coach in Mariehamn, Finland
1995 Laser World Championships, Tenerife
1996 Laser World Championships, Simon’s Town, RSA
1996 South African Optimist Worlds Team coach in Club Mykonos, Langebaan
1996 Cape to Rio de Janeiro on Warrior – Port Elizabeth based boat owned by Phil Gutsche
1999 Laser campaign for Olympics
2005 Swedish match tour
2007 America’s Cup on Team Shosholoza
2010 Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race
2012 International Rolex Regatta on Lord Irvine Laidlaw of Rothiemay’s (MON) IRC 52 Highland Fling XII
2013 Rolex Middle Sea Race on Music – a Swan 53
2014 Les Voiles de Saint Barth
2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race on Black Pearl – a Carkeek 47
2015 Part of Transatlantic Race crew on Team Dorade
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 on Swan 53, Music
2015 Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean, held off Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands
2015 Voiles de St Barths
2015 Annapolis to Newport Race
2015 New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta
2015 Block Island Race Week, Newport
2016 Project Manager for new Cape 31 monohull
2017 Navigator on Skimmer – Cape to Rio
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