Sailor named round the world race skipper
Skippering a round the world race is a dream come true for one professional Stevenage sailor.
Stevenage’s Ian Conchie is one of just ten elite captains selected for the year-long Clipper Round the World Race which begins on Sunday.
The 39-year-old will take charge of the 68-foot Chinese boat Qingdao for the 40,000 mile race across the globe’s oceans.
“I have followed ocean racing for years and the chance to build a team and compete in the longest ocean race in the world is an amazing opportunity,” Ian said. “Add to that the chance to race into some of the most iconic sailing ports in the world and becoming a Clipper Race skipper is the chance of a lifetime.”
The former Thomas Alleyne School pupil said he found his love for sailing on Fairlands Valley Lakes before turning his hobby into a career.
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“I started off by retraining with the UK Sailing Academy and subsequently worked with them as a first mate. During this time I met ex-Clipper skippers who sparked my interest in the becoming a skipper myself.
“Being named a skipper of Qingdao was a really nice surprise. Qingdao is the capital of sailing in China and the Chinese are truly embracing the sport. It’s an honour to be part of this.”
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The televised race will stop at 15 ports before returning to the UK in July 2012.