23rd March 2022

Thrings’ client takes on challenge of a lifetime

We will be following, in our new Thrings Links, client Ben Gillingham setting sail on the challenge of a lifetime; joining the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

Ben will be sailing back to London via the mighty North Pacific, the Panama Canal, Bermuda and New York. Participants face fearsome conditions, from hurricane force winds and 'phenomenal' waves (that's the technical term), through to the sweltering heat and flat calm of the Doldrums.

Whilst on the boat, crews work 24hrs a day in a confined space, dealing with whatever Mother Nature throws at them as they race against 10 other competing yachts. Teamwork is key, with leadership, communication and resilience needed to get the best out of every team member in the pressure cooker environment of the race. As a businessman who successfully grew a family business alongside his mother, father and younger brother Vince, Ben is no stranger to these skills but they will take on a new intensity and relevance during the challenge.

The race is currently at the half-way stage, having been suspended in the Philippines at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, and Ben’s boat (the Zuhai) is currently in 9th place so he and his crewmates have a huge task ahead of them. Just like any business, they will be considering their strategy for success, working hard and hoping for some luck along the way!

As Ben is a client and good friend of the firm, Thrings will be following his journey every step of the way and will be helping to raise money for Ben’s chosen charity, Centrepoint, the UK's leading charity supporting homeless young adults. When Ben is in port, he will be blogging his thoughts on his experiences for Thrings which we will share with our clients and staff.

Kate Westbrook, head of commercial at Thrings, is Ben’s client partner and said “I’ve known and worked with Ben for over 10 years and supported whilst he and his family grew their business. I was privileged to lead the sale of his Agri tech business to the Resterra Group. Ben is genuinely a top bloke. I’ve seen him in pressured situations and he always maintains a cool head. I’m fascinated to see how he tackles this new adventure! No doubt with skill, focus and determination.”

Ben Gillingham commented “I’m grateful to Thrings for joining me with my fund raising for Centrepoint and for their interest in my exploits! The Thrings team was with me every step of the way when selling my business and it’s great to have them ‘onboard’ this 20,000 nautical mile journey too”.

For more information on Ben's challenge, or to donate to Centrepoint directly, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bgclipperrace