Jodie Richards

YotHop

I left home at 16 to go to Follow my dream of a life at sea, I did my Sailing and Windsurf instructor licenses and got my first job afloat at Sunsail in Turkey. After a season at 17 I came back and passed my RYA Yacht-master in Cowes on the Isle of Wight where I met my partner Jamie. Together we got a job at Necker Island as watersports instructors for 6 months. Seeing amazing yachts sailing in the BVI we decided that was for us and never really looked back.

We applied for a few jobs running boats and got a job running a Swan 56 where we went on to win European and world championships, We worked for that owner for 10 years. I was a Chef, Stew and also helped alot on deck with the sailing. (With that owner we ran a Swan 56, Swan 80 and then helped build the Baltic Yachts 112 – S/Y Nilaya)

I spent 3 very successful years on Nilaya Winning regattas and cruising world wide.

At 30 I gave birth to our first child (Kitty), i continued to follow my partner with Kitty sometimes as delivery crew, logging my daughters first 2000 sea miles before she was 2. I was unsure of what to do as id been working in the yachting industry since i was 17 years old and felt like i was missing something.

So set up YotHop whilst continuing to follow my partner loosely basing myself in Antigua, Palma, Newport RI… where ever the program took us. In the last 5 years ive also had my second child (Lani) whilst continuing to run the business remotely.

We now have 3 more crew agents who work remotely and are Ex Yacht crew like myself, a financial agent, as well as a devopment team.

The company is jointly owned by my friend and part time yachtie Glenn and my Partner Jamie (We came up with the idea on a trip from Newport to Antigua. I was cheffing onboard and we also had Kitty in toe, who was 1.5 years).

The initial idea was it to be a free job board for Captains to search resumes and find crew for free. We ran like this successfully for a few years. Then a friend captain approached me to do recruitment the traditional way and as a favor i gave it a whirl.

It was successful, word of mouth spread and we became very busy with the traditional way of placing crew, alongside still running a free job board for the boats that do not have a budget for recruitment.

Its been a rollercoaster ride but i have loved every minute of it and i am super proud of what we have built. We recruit for numerous boats and captains and have 11,000 plus crew on the database after 5 years. The 3 agents that work alongside me are my friends aswel as ex yachties and my colleagues. So i fell very lucky to be where i am, only 5 years after leaving yachting it feels as if I never really left!?!?