After three years studying Ocean Science and Meteorology at the University of Plymouth, the 26 year old, Conrad applied for a place on Sir Chay Blyth’s BT Global Challenge as a Race Skipper.
The selection programme lasted a year with just 12 skipper places being selected from over 180 applicants. The selection programme was intense with the final applicants whittled down to 19, they each spent a week with one of the UK’s top management training organisations learning how to lead, motivate, gain commitment, deliver inspiring presentations and deal with conflict. Conrad was selected and at the London International Boat show on the 8th January 2000, was handed a team made up of 30 crew volunteers (CV) who had signed up to the challenge. Conrad and his team dominated the race from start to finish, winning four out of seven legs of the race and a further two podium finishes.The CV’s came from all walks of life, the youngest, a student was just 18 and the oldest a company director, was 60. Conrad had just 5 weeks to train, select and mould them into a winning team before undertaking one of the world’s toughest round the world races; a 30,000 mile race in identical steel 72ft yachts sailing westabout against the prevailing winds and currents.
Conrad and his team dominated the race from start to finish, winning four out of seven legs of the race and a further two podium finishes. They set a new record from Cape Horn to the Cape of Good Hope and picked up two media awards during the race. At just 28 years of age, Conrad became the youngest winning skipper in the history of the race. He attributes this success to the winning attitude cultivated within the team, the driving philosophies being “winning is infectious” and “self-belief is everything.”