Round the world yachtsman Conrad Humphreys has revealed plans to create a world-class sailing academy in Plymouth that he hopes will turn out the next generation of champions. Young sailors capable of competing against the best in the world’s biggest ocean races, including the Vendée Globe.
The Plymouth-based sailor, 41, has established a new sailing base at the former Royal Marines Commando base at Turnchapel in Plymouth.
The site - formerly RM Turnchapel - complete with old naval buildings and paraphernalia, was bought by Yacht Haven Ventures earlier this year after the MoD moved 539 Assault Squadron to a brand new amphibious warfare centre at Devonport.
Conrad's Class 40 yacht, 'Cat Phones', will be based at Turnchapel Wharf in Plymouth. After decades of being a ‘restricted’ area, the wharf has now been opened up to the public. Building 1 has undergone a transformation and is now fully operational. Conrad and his team will be hosting a launch event before he sets sail to Saint-Malo for the start of the Route du Rhum.
“Turnchapel is absolutely perfect,” said Conrad. “The vision is for this area to be a leading marine hub, so to have a professional sailing team at its core is a fantastic opportunity.”
“Our new Team Base is on the waterfront and it gives us everything we need to run a professional sailing operation. Alongside the office space we have training facilities, classrooms, outdoor gym and space for containers and water sports equipment. Currently the boat is moored next to the office, which enables us to train every day and sometimes twice a day. The facilities rival anywhere in Europe and I hope we can encourage other teams to use our facility.”
Conrad added: “This is about investing in Plymouth and making the most of the amazing natural resource we have here – the Plymouth waterfront and the Sound. When I look across the Cattewater, I can see the Barbican, the Citadel and the Hoe. It’s a dream, when you think about the maritime history of Plymouth – Britain’s Ocean City – to me, this is just the best place to have a sailing base.”
The bright yellow yacht can often be seen in the Sound or off the South Cornwall and South Devon coasts, as Conrad trains for the race ahead.
You can follow Conrad’s progress here, at www.conradhumphreys.com / www.sportenvironment.com
Pictures by Lloyd Images
Discover more about Turnchapel Wharf
Read the full story