Event will bring the Mayflower voyage to life through drawing parallels with similar challenges faced by famous yachtsman
Pete Goss MBE, sailor and adventurer turned entrepreneur and author of the bestselling book ‘Close to the Wind’ has been confirmed to headline the first Mayflower 400 Speaker Series of 2020, a year that signifies 400 years since the Mayflower set sail from the UK on its historic voyage.
The event hosted at the Southampton Harbour Hotel on Wednesday 18th March, forms part of a comprehensive UK speaker series, supported by transatlantic law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD), commemorating the Mayflower’s 400th year anniversary and the importance of the transatlantic relationship between the UK and the US.
Goss is perhaps best known for his heroic rescue of Frenchman and fellow competitor Raphael Dinelli from mountainous Southern Ocean seas and hurricane force winds in the 1996 Vendee Globe single-handed round the world race, for which he was awarded the MBE by Her Majesty the Queen and the Legion d’Honneur by the French President.
He has also walked to the North Pole, kayaked around Tasmania, built Team Philips – arguably the most advanced sailing catamaran ever, and recreated the voyage of the smallest migrant vessel ever to make it to Australia by building the wooden lugger Spirit of Mystery amongst many other adventures.
Jon Hales, Partner and Head of the Southampton office at WBD comments: “We are really looking forward to welcoming Pete to Southampton to headline the first Mayflower 400 Speaker Series of 2020. Pete’s experiences and his bravery and determination make him a perfect fit for the speaker series.”
“WBD is pleased to support the Speaker Series for the second year running, commemorating the historic voyage of the Mayflower to North America and giving us the perfect opportunity to celebrate our long-lasting ties and ongoing relationship between the US and the UK.”
Pete Goss MBE comments: “There are countless parallels that can be drawn between my experiences and those of the pilgrims. To me the definition of an adventure is that it has an unknown outcome. You set off and rely on your collective skills to take on what is thrown at you. It doesn’t always work out, but you do your best to achieve the goal as things evolve. To do this a vision is required, a team, skills developed, risk mitigated, logistics planned. All fuelled by passion, courage, determination and persistence.”
The Mayflower arrived in Southampton in late July 1620 and several days later was joined by the Speedwell, carrying the Pilgrims from Leiden. Their intention was to prepare both vessels and sail in company directly to America. There were already concerns about the Speedwell, which required repairs after developing a leak, but on 15 August the two ships weighed anchor and set sail. They were later forced to turn back, eventually leaving from Plymouth, however Southampton remains a pivotal compact partner in the 400th year commemorations.
This Mayflower 400 commemoration sits at the very heart of the special relationship between Britain and the US. The official programme in 2020 will comprise over 400 events that will span four Nations – Britain, US, Netherlands and Wampanoag – and is anticipated to yield a significant £440m impact on the business turnover across the UK Mayflower Compact destinations.
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Notes to editors
Overview of the Mayflower 400 Celebration:
2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower from Plymouth UK to Plymouth Massachusetts.
This is a unique opportunity to commemorate the legacy of the passengers and crew who undertook the journey and to highlight their stories and heritage, which is embedded in communities across the UK, US and Netherlands.
The Mayflower 400 programme has been created to leverage this opportunity, aligning 11 core destinations in England with wider local, national and international partners and over 20 million US citizens descended from the Mayflower. It will deliver a world-class series of events, public art and wider content that will commemorate this exceptional voyage and provide a major on-going impact across the partnership, knitting together communities, inspiring creativity and culture, driving economic growth, and promoting understanding and education.
Mayflower 400 will champion the values of freedom, faith and personal liberty that informed the original journey, and which continue to be articulated in the special relationship between the UK, US and Netherlands. At the same time, the commemoration will recognise the impact of the Mayflower’s journey on Native American communities and address themes of colonialism and migration, providing an accurate, inclusive account of the Mayflower’s legacy.
About Womble Bond Dickinson:
Womble Bond Dickinson is a transatlantic law firm with more than 1,000 lawyers based in 27 UK and US office locations. The firm provides core legal services including: Commercial, Corporate, Employment, Pensions, Dispute Resolution, Litigation, Finance, Banking, Restructuring, Insolvency, IP, Technology and Data, Private Wealth, Projects, Construction and Infrastructure, Real Estate and Regulatory Law.
Womble Bond Dickinson has a particular focus on eleven key sectors: Energy & Natural Resources, Financial Institutions, Healthcare, Insurance, Manufacturing, Real Estate, Retail & Consumer, Transport, Logistics & Infrastructure, Life Sciences & Pharmaceuticals, Technology and Private Wealth.
The firm’s UK offices are in Aberdeen, Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Newcastle, Plymouth and Southampton. The US offices are in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Los Angeles, Orange County, Palo Alto, Silicon Valley – California, Wilmington – Del, Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, Research Triangle Park, Winston-Salem – N.C., Charleston, Columbia, Greenville – S.C., Charlottesville, Tysons Corner – Va. and Washington D.C.
The firm’s reach also extends to Europe where it has strategic partnerships with other law firms in Germany and France. Besides, through the firm’s association with Lex Mundi, the world’s largest association of independent law firms, Womble Bond Dickinson also can offer clients access to quality-tested local counsel in more than 120 countries.