‘Below Deck Down Under’s Captain Jason: I’m More ‘Hands-On’ Than Other ‘Below Deck’ Captains

The 'Below Deck' universe continues to expand with 'Below Deck Down Under.' HL spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Captain Jason Champers about his 'Below Deck' debut and what to expect this season.

The next chapter of Below Deck has arrived with Below Deck Down Under. The Peacock Original series premieres on March 17 with the first three episodes. At the helm is Captain Jason Champers, who will be leading the charters this season and guiding his crew.

HollywoodLife got EXCLUSIVE scoop from Captain Jason himself about how he became the Below Deck universe’s newest star. He also shared how he compares to the Below Deck captains we know and love. Read our Q&A below:

Captain Jason
Captain Jason Champers is one of the stars of ‘Below Deck Down Under.’ (Peacock)

Was there any hesitation to do the show at all or were you gung-ho from the beginning?
Captain Jason Champers: There was a lot of hesitation from the start. However, I was coerced into doing it from my previous crew. When they reached out to ask me a couple of times, all my crew influenced me to do it and all my friends. I’m someone that tackles different things in life. I have given up a lot in wanting to just do some unique stuff rather than the normal everyday Mediterranean or Caribbean. I’ve been following remote cruising for the last five years, and this is just another chapter. I just got more and more excited as the time came.

You’re a native Australian. How does it feel to take Below Deck to Australia and really be able to showcase it for the Below Deck audience?  
Captain Jason Champers: That’s a very good point. The one thing that influenced me to do it is the show has changed. Although it’s all about the crew and what we get up to and what we have to deal with to get the charters done, I’ve seen the show progress into more unique locations and better backdrops and being a bit more adventurous. To have the show come to Australia and me in my backyard and being down there and showing the world what we’ve got, it was easy.

Is there something about the waters of Australia that you think people don’t know? 
Captain Jason Champers: Well, I think everyone knows Australia’s got it all when it comes to land and sea, when it comes down to the world of animals and marine life and the dangers there. I’ve been face-to-face with a couple of tiger sharks in my life. It’s all there. You can’t dismiss it, but the beauty is there as well. So you have to have a good balance and it’ll be great to show that on the show and hopefully more Below Deck Down Unders.

There have been many different captains on the other Below Deck shows. How do you compare to the other captains that we’ve seen? 
Captain Jason Champers: Every captain is different in their own way. I’m a little bit more hands-on I suppose. I have to be on this first season of where we’re at because I do know the areas. I know what to watch out for. We’ve got no one else that’s coming from other previous seasons that know where I want to go to and get to, so I had to be a bit more hands-on. That’s about the biggest difference. In this situation, I’m probably going to be a bit different than the others because they’ve got established crew and established programs.

Have you spoken to any other captains from the Below Deck world or did you just dive in headfirst?
Captain Jason Champers: I dove in headfirst. I haven’t spoken to anyone. Sandy has reached out on Instagram I’ve seen a couple times and made a few comments, which was nice. It felt good that I’ve got the support, and I can’t wait to meet them all.

If you were to get a second season, would you want to go anywhere else in particular?
Captain Jason Champers: I’ve spent the last five years cruising around Asia and the Pacific and remote locations. Hopefully, I can get invited back and do another location, probably Down Under, and show Australia even more. My heart’s in the Philippines. I have a little place over there, and there’s lots to see there. I know the show’s gone to Thailand before, but there’s still a lot more down in that region. I think we’ve got a lot to offer to show what global super-yachting can be.

When it comes to Below Deck, there is always drama. How did you handle the inevitable drama of the season? 
Captain Jason Champers: I’m pretty prepared for it after 20 years of yachting. However, looking at the show, I didn’t know how it would unfold. But now that I’ve done it, it’s evident that this show is very real. They are taking a full month’s charter season and putting it into six weeks. Everything that is unfolding would actually unfold over a longer period of time on any superyacht.

Captain Jason
Captain Jason on ‘Below Deck Down Under.’ (Peacock)

You’ve got a number of new cast members joining you. Who was someone that you instantly gravitated towards in your crew?
Captain Jason Champers: You’ll see it’s Aesha [Scott] straightaway. I’ve seen her on other episodes when I started watching it, and I liked her level of vibrance and her can-do attitude. I’m the same and soon as I met her the feeling was there. I just knew that between both of us we would be able to accomplish the charters. It was more about exactly what we do with trying to entertain the guests and give them a great time. That was our focus and everything else kind of faded in the background.

When it comes to this first season, what would you say was your biggest challenge?
Captain Jason Champers: The whole thing was a challenge. It’s a very hard question to answer. One, I’m taking a new boat on, which I’m more than comfortable with walking on a boat and driving. However, I’m taking a new crew. Not the most experienced crew. They’re all stepping up into roles, like Jamie [Sayed] stepping up as a bosun and the deck crew learning my way of how to do things. I’m trying to educate him early so I can hand over the reins to them, and they can get it done, but there’s a safety aspect that’s involved as well that we can’t walk away from. We have to be safe and I have to get them up and up to scratch within a 24 or 48 hour period and then they got to start working together and try and manage a happy environment.

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