Julie ship-shape for Atlantic challenge
JULIE Snowden, English account manager of Seafish, is preparing to take to the water in a way she never thought likely a couple of years ago. For the past nine years her work has revolved around those who depend on the sea for a living.
This week she is busy preparing for the Humber Seafood Summit in Cleethorpes, near Grimsby, next Wednesday.
But she is also training for the 2017-18 Clipper round the World Yacht race, regarded by many as one of the toughest of all sailing challenges.
Last year she won much praise for her work in bringing together hundreds of people from the UK and overseas to the World Seafood Congress, held in Grimsby for the first time.
She admits: ‘This is going to be a new challenge for me and they say it can be life-changing.’
The clipper race was conceived in 1995 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. It is the only race in the world where the organisers supply a fleet of 12 identical 70 foot racing yachts, each with a qualified skipper to safely guide a usually novice crew.
Julie will be joining the team for the 4,253 nautical mile Atlantic leg from New York to a landfall somewhere on the British Isles and then down the North Sea to Holland before ending at a point on Britain’s east coast.
But there is more than a sense of adventure behind her motives. Julie says her work with Seafish has made her appreciate the dangers and challenges facing fishermen each time they put to sea.
‘The weather may look okay when you set out, but you never know what the sea will suddenly throw up at you,’ she said.
‘This is my way of seeing for myself what fishermen have to ensure.’
She is seeking sponsorship for the Fishermen’s Mission (RNMDSF) and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance which, she says, both do tremendous work.
Julie expects to be doing everything from working in the galley, servicing the engines, fixing the sails or winding the winch, all physically demanding work.
She is financing much of the training and other costs herself, but she is also grateful for the commercial sponsorship, which she says has been essential.
Her ‘can do’ attitude is nowhere more evident than in her work with the Humber Seafood Summit. This will be her sixth event.
The first conference barely attracted 50 people but more than 200 delegates will visit Cleethorpes Pier for the 2016 event, which includes international speakers. The afternoon is devoted to aquaculture, now the fastest growing sector in seafood.
For those who want to help Julie’s fund raising for the Fishermen’s Mission or the Air Ambulance, the links to her pages are:-