The West Country gave local solo round the world yachtsman, Conrad Humphreys a true hero’s welcome today as he sailed back into his home town of Plymouth.
Humphreys, onboard Hellomoto, was met by a fleet of spectator boats which included family, friends and many supporters who have followed Hellomoto’s epic 28,000 mile circumnavigation of the globe in the Vendee Globe yacht race.
Conrad completed the race on February 20th in 7th place but sailing into home waters for the first time today and was officially welcomed ashore by the Lord Mayor of Plymouth. He was also greeted by crowds of spectators who lined the dockside to watch as Hellomoto entered Plymouth Sound and then moored alongside at the QAB marina. Following his arrival Conrad took to the stage where he recounted details of the race against a backdrop of never before seen footage of Hellomoto’s round the world voyage.
Speaking from the dockside, Conrad Humphreys said “The reception I have received today has been staggering. I could never have imagined that so many people would come out to see us home – I am truly humbled. I have sailed into many harbours including Sydney, Cape Town and Auckland, but arriving in Plymouth is particularly special. It is one of the most spectacular natural arenas in the world and a magnificent stage for a homecoming. When I sailed out of Plymouth 5 months ago I looked over my shoulder and hoped that the next time I was here would be after sailing around the globe. To be home is fantastic and to be greeted by this is just amazing. Thank you to everyone who has come out to see us today and to all those who followed our progress round the world.”
Other highlights of the ceremony included a message from the West Country’s other sailing hero Pete Goss, Conrad signing the 2012 Olympic flag with the 27th Plymouth Scout Group who have followed his race and he was also joined on stage by Plymouth’s Olympic sailing hopefuls James and Dan Ellis.
Margaret Rice – Jones, Corporate Vice President, Motorola inc and General Manager, Networks EMEA commented “Conrad’s participation in the Vendee Globe has been an inspiration to us all. In successfully replacing Hellomoto’s rudder and continuing in the race, a task never completed before, Conrad showed a determination and focus that demonstrates what can be achieved when you really put your mind towards achieving your goal.”
“The Ocean Racing team displayed incredible team work throughout the race as well as creativity and innovation which enabled Conrad to complete the Vendee Globe. It is this sense of innovation that also drives Motorola with over 75 years as a leader in the fast-moving world of communications.”
Following the ceremony, where Conrad officially announced his intention to compete in the 2008 Vendee Globe, Charles Howeson, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce pledged £1,000 towards Conrad’s future campaign. In his speech Howeson urged other local business to do the same building on Conrad’s fantastic achievement and use it as a stepping stone for the future.
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