Elite yachtsman set to inspire at boat show

Conrad Manning is guest speaker at Hampshire Chamber's Southampton Boat Show brunch Picture: Dave Dodge Photography
Conrad Manning is guest speaker at Hampshire Chamber's Southampton Boat Show brunch Picture: Dave Dodge Photography
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A MARITIME-themed gathering will explore similarities between sailing and business success at the Southampton International Boat Show.

The Hampshire Chamber of Commerce brunch will feature a speech by elite yachtsman Conrad Manning on his plan to tackle the Vendée Globe 2020 single-handed round-the-world race.

A naval architect, Conrad will touch on some of the strategic thinking and skills involved in yacht racing that he believes can be transferred to the boardroom and company workplace.

Brunch sponsor is Portsmouth-headquartered hyper-speed broadband provider toob which is investing £50m to bring a full-fibre network to more than 100,000 premises in Southampton by the end of 2021. 

Conrad, a former student yachting world champion, will outline his vision to encourage more young people into engineering careers by using sailing technology as an inspiration.

He said: ‘I will explore my thoughts on the role sailing and the wider sailing community have in bringing engineering to life and inspiring more young people to think about engineering as a possible career.

‘Through my STEM work, I utilise my experience both as an experienced sailor and qualified naval architect to introduce young people to the fascinating technology and engineering which makes sailing an exciting and ever evolving sport.’

He added: ‘I’ll touch on the parallels between the worlds of business and sailing through exploration of the vital, transferable skills which sailing cultivates both at a competitive or recreational level.’   

Maureen Frost, Hampshire Chamber chief executive, said: ‘Our gathering is typically one of the most popular events on our business calendar and we’re looking forward to enjoying our maritime-themed brunch this year with our line-up of fascinating speakers.’

Tickets to the brunch include a complimentary pass to enter the show throughout its ten-day run.

The show is the UK’s biggest annual festival of boating, attracting more than 600 global brands with thousands of boats and craft to view. 

The brunch, including a drinks reception and networking, takes place at the Leonardo Royal Hotel Southampton Grand Harbour on the opening morning of the show, Friday September 13.