Ian Worley

Location: Godalming, Surrey
About me...

Although a Chartered Accountant by profession, I have sailed since I was 7 and always loved sailing and the sea. It is in my blood!
After working for many years in the City of London in the 1970s I guess I was a bit bored. OK, so the money was good, very good, but I needed some adventure in my life. Then, in the early part of 1977, I saw an advert in the Times asking for volunteers to crew Great Britain II in a sailing race around the world via Cape Horn. I was hooked.
Along with 15 others I enrolled for the adventure. We each paid £4,000 towards the cost of entering the huge yacht ‘Great Britain II’ into the second Whitbread Round the World Race.
This is my story of that race.

About my Talk...

I talk on the amusing, terrifying and sometimes outrageous activities that accompany such endeavours. I can provide an evening of illustrated entertainment, for which some clubs and societies charge an attendance fee. I can also deliver an unillustrated (Stand Alone) after luncheon or dinner talk.
A lunchtime unillustrated talk lasts about 45 minutes and an illustrated evening talk, with a short break, about 1 hour plus.
I can adjust the length and format (possible break) of my talk to suit your specific requirements.

Sometimes a planned event is threatened by the unavailability of a speaker. I have some experience of stepping in at the last moment to fill such a void. Try me.


My fee is normally £200 for a full evening of illustrated entertainment, plus travel expenses if over 20 miles distant from Godalming, where I live. If the venue involves more than 100 miles travel(each way) then I would probably require hotel accommodation.
I can assist with some promotional material where you might want to advertise the talk as part of a fund-raising exercise.
I can be flexible on fees where special situations apply. It is always worth asking.

My Contact Details:

07795 177260


This was an all out race for 9 months. Sailing at breakneck speed in some of the most inhospitable waters on earth. There were serious accidents, man overboard, lightning strikes and damage to gear and sails AND all had to be overcome whilst fighting to maintain our speed and position in the race.

I had significant sailing experience before joining the GBII project and so was appointed as one of the three watch leaders, later to become 1st Mate, many of the other volunteers were complete novices.
These races are highly competitive and can be dangerous, and always exciting.
Great Britain II set off on the race with a novice crew, who many though might not make the first stop at Cape Town. We proved them wrong and we completed the race with line honours, taking overall 1st place for first boat home. We visited Cape Town, Auckland and Rio de Janeiro before returning to Portsmouth, at the end of the race a respected and experienced crew and as winners!
Whilst on board, I filmed for the BBC sports programme Grandstand, and this footage was shown on BBC1 at the end of each leg of the race. In 1978, after the completion of the race, I made a film about my experiences on board, which I sold to United Artists to accompany the James Bond film Moonraker.

In 1978 and 1979 I embarked on a successful nationwide speaking tour managed by Foyles Lecture Agency, completing over 100 engagements.
More recently I have been encouraged to speak again about my experiences on that race. This time about what is now fast becoming an historic event and including comments about more recent sailing endeavours by those brave enough, and some say stupid enough, to suffer the horrors of the Southern Ocean with its unremitting cold, huge seas and icebergs.

Talks in the Pipeline

I have a great interest in the life and times of Charles Darwin, and also the voyages and experiences of the early navigators, including Christopher Columbus, Sir Francis Drake, Ferdinand Magellan and George (later Lord) Anson. Theirs is a story of great hardship, and early exploration. These two talks, “Charles Darwin’s Voyage of Discovery” and “From Christopher Columbus to George Anson – The Early Navigators” should become available in the early part of 2020. If you would like to book one of these talks, please contact me for a more definite ‘to go’ date.

Ian Worley Contact Details:

07795 177260

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