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20th April 2007
'We are delighted to be able to support the ambitions of Conrad and his team to take part in several global sailing challenges over the next few years. He has consistently proved he is one of the worlds top ocean racers and we are confident he will continue to perform at the top of his class. Through this agreement with Conrad, we are committed to not only promoting our company but the City of Plymouth as a fantastic place for living, working and hosting world class sporting events. As well as providing help towards the running costs of the team, we will also be releasing footage on DVD so the 'armchair' sailor can enjoy his adventures in some of the worlds most dangerous oceans'. - Dave Summers, Managing Director DMS Ltd.
For further info about Conrad Humphreys please visit www.conradhumphreys.com
On the 20th of February 2005, Conrad Humphreys became only the 5th British sailor to complete the Vendée Globe. He finished 7th after 104 days at sea in what has been acknowledged as one of the most remarkable comebacks in the history of the Vendée Globe race.
Conrad's professional career in sailing began at 17 years old, when he was spotted at the Junior World Cadet Championships and asked to join the Youth Challenge campaign for the 1993-4 Whitbread Round the World Race (now the Volvo Ocean Race) The change in direction thrust him into the world of extreme ocean racing. His first leadership challenge was as Skipper of LG FLATRON in the gruelling BT Global Challenge 2000-01. Conrad and his team went onto dominate the race setting a record pace and winning four out of seven legs. At just 26 years of age, Conrad became the youngest winning skipper in the history of the race.
For Conrad's third circumnavigation, he decided to take on the Everest of ocean racing, the non-stop, solo round the world race, the 2004-05 Vendée Globe. Humphreys, in his Open 60, HELLOMOTO set out from Les Sables D'Olonne, France in November 2004 with 19 competitors to race non-stop and without assistance around the world. The Vendée Globe is regarded as the pinnacle of ocean racing and an event that is widely regarded as the toughest endurance race in any sport.
After 25 days at sea, Conrad was lying in 7th place and just about to enter the cold, desolate waters of the Southern Ocean when he hit a submerged object at speed. Flung across the cabin, his first thoughts where that he was sinking. HELLOMOTO withstood the impact, but a rudder did not. Everyone thought that Conrad's race was over as he limped towards Cape Town. No-one had ever successfully changed a rudder at sea without assistance and gone on to complete the race.
Humphreys arrived in Cape Town and anchoring off a small bay near Simon's Town set about changing the broken rudder. Diving repeatedly under the hull in the full glare of the world's media, he managed to replace the rudder and rejoin the race. The euphoria he felt at completing the repair was swiftly replaced by apprehension when he realised that he would now be entering the Southern Ocean, in last place and nearly 4000 miles behind the leaders.
Humphrey's dug deep; he set off from Cape Town knowing that his only chance of safety lay 500 miles ahead of him. He set himself a target of catching the next boat by Christmas and staying motivated by maintaining his speed and distance with the leaders. The Southern Ocean was brutal, several of Conrad's competitors were in trouble in mountainous seas and one yacht had smashed into an iceberg, but Conrad was flying. His yacht HELLOMOTO was reeling in the tail-enders and by Christmas he was back inside the top ten having left Cape Town in 17th position.
Conrad rounded Cape Horn, in 9th place having closed the distance to the leaders remarkably by two hundred miles. He attacked the South Atlantic taking a day off the record from Cape Horn to the equator. The fatigue across the fleet was taking its toll and two boats where to suffer dramatic keel failures one just 50 miles from the finish line. With 3000 miles left to the finish, HELLOMOTO's own hydraulic rams that control the three tonne keel dramatically failed leaving the boat dangerously unstable. Humphreys secured the keel as best he could with a series of lashings and decided to continue racing towards the finish line. Sleeping with his emergency grab bag and living with the constant fear that his own keel would come away from the yacht, Humphreys continued up the Atlantic crossing the finish line in 7th place, after 104 days at sea to a Hero's welcome.
This was Conrad's third circumnavigation having become the youngest winner of the BT Global Challenge in 2001 and completing the Whitbread Round the World Race (Volvo Ocean Race) in 1994. He is still the only yachtsman to have done this. Conrad's next ambition is to compete in the next Vendée Globe race in 2008-09, in a new Open 60, with the aim to be the first Brit to ever win the race.
104 days alone at sea including unseen footage of the amazing underwater rudder replacement in shark populated waters!
Against The Odds is Conrad's amazing story of the 2004-05 Vendee Globe and is available to buy online.