Honour for man who leads global ocean race

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A BUSINESSMAN who has helped to boost trade around the world has been rewarded for his efforts with a New Year Honour.

William Ward, chief executive officer and co-founder of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, based in Gosport, receives the OBE for services to the economy.

His award also recognises his part in the GREAT campaign – a project set up by former Prime Minister David Cameron who invited Mr Ward to become a GREAT Britain ambassador’ in 2014 in recognition of his personal support and contribution to international promotions.

Mr Ward, who founded the Clipper Race alongside round-the-world sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston in 1995, has played a leading role in international trade.

He said: ‘I’m a staunch royalist and traditionalist but it’s not something I expected to get as a working-class guy made good. But the biggest buzz will be for my 91-year-old mother. She is also a royalist and it will mean more to her than anyone.’