For Lance, who has followed the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race since it began in 1996, selection as a Clipper Race Skipper is a dream come true.

He says: "The challenge of taking a group of novice sailors, from all walks of life, out of their comfort zones and turning them into a successful round the world ocean racing team will be the highlight of my life, not just my career."

Lance Shepherd began sailing on Lake Windermere at the age of 14 with his local Scout group and has never looked back.

After spending eleven years as a Commando in the Royal Marines, Lance began working as a Freelance Skipper and has since gained extensive experience in ocean crossings, deliveries, team building, leadership and teaching the RYA syllabus.

"I believe a team is made by the complete engagement of every member which is achieved through building mutual respect, encouragement and collaboration."

"I have a very high standard of safe seamanship and will promote a safe culture of continuous improvement for the whole team as they take on one of the toughest challenges in the world."

As an avid yacht racer, Lance competes most weeks and when he isn’t racing, you can find him on a committee boat as Match Official. Lance is a familiar face on the Round the Island Race start line, placing 29th overall on a Farr 65 during the last edition. Lance has also competed in the 2013 Fastnet Race and 2010 ARC where he co-Skippered a Discovery 55.

"I am looking forward to working with my crew, building them into a successful race team and watching them grow together to share lasting memories and friendships."

In addition to his sailing qualifications, Lance holds a Part 4 Commercial Diver certificate, BSAC Sport Diver and BCU Advanced Canoe Instructor qualifications.

Additionally Qualified Persons on board Liverpool 2018:

Race 4, Fremantle to Sydney: David Hartshorn
Race 5, Sydney to Hobart: David Hartshorn
Race 6, Hobart to Whitsundays: Jacob Bonnick
Race 7, Whitsundays to Sanya: Jacob Bonnick
Race 8, Sanya to Qingdao: Jacob Bonnick
Race 9, Qingdao to Seattle: Nick Sheard
Race 10, Seattle to Panama: Nick Sheard