Sailing around the world has been a long-held dream for Mike Surridge, 55, who is originally from Canterbury, Kent, and now calls West Sussex home.

On his appointment, Mike says: “Bening named as one of the Clipper Race Skippers is a real highlight for me. My long held ambition is to sail around the word and to do this with a team in this format is an excellent way to achieve such an awesome lifetime goal.

“I want to challenge myself in a sport that I know well, love and have the ability to produce some great results. I want to sail with individuals of various capabilities that have broadly the same objective and together achieve the epic result of a circumnavigation.”

Since starting sailing in his early twenties, Mike has recorded in excess of 100,000 nautical miles in his log book and had extensive racing experience, taking part in five Fastnets, thirteen Round the Island Races, the ARC, and BVI Regatta.

Leadership and coaching are key strengths for Mike, who employs 50 people across three businesses. He says: “I am very competitive and I achieve results by sharing a vision, setting goals in pursuit of that vision and taking digestible steps to achieve the overall vision.

“The most important advice I shall be emparting to my crew will be to have a positive attitude at many levels. It’s worth more than experience. That includes attitude in applying yourselves in the race, attitude to making the boat go faster, attitude towards each other, attitude to doing your very best.”

Away from the water, Mike, a father of two, is a keen Harley Davidson rider and has ambitions to complete the East to West coast route 66 on his Harley.

Until Race Start : The South Atlantic Challenge Leg