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An inspirational yachtsman, Pete Goss is known internationally for his heroism and for his belief in innovation, technology, challenge and adventure
In 1996, Pete Goss rescued French yachtsman Raphael Dinelli, whose boat was sinking during the notorious Vendée Globe - a non-stop race around-the-world in which each competitor sails single-handed. Despite losing his chance to win the prestigious competition, Goss rose to international fame for his bravery and was awarded both an MBE and the French Legion d'Honneur. In the years that have followed, Goss has continued to sail some of the most challenging sea routes and has inspired millions with his book ‘Close to the Wind’ and via his exceptional skill as a motivational speaker.
Saved the life of fellow sailor
Top motivational speaker
Appointed a Fellow of Oxford University’s Said Business School for his contribution to teamwork and leadership development
Topics covered include Communication, Self-Belief and Determination, Teambuilding, Strength of Mind and Firm Leadership
Drawing on his personal experiences, Pete Goss captivates his audience with tales of his adventures and explains how team and individual contributions are essential to success. Humorous, warm, entertaining and engaging, he is able to convey the excitement of pitting the human mind and body against the world’s oceans and to help everyone learn how to believe in their own abilities and to achieve their goals.
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A terrible hurricane in the Southern Ocean cemented Pete Goss’s place in sailing history; it was during the storm that he bravely rescued French yachtsman
from his sinking vessel. At the time both men were rivals competing in the
, the notoriously challenging round the world race in which each competitor must sail solo. The hurricane caused both men to lose their chance of winning the race, but forged a life-long friendship between them and saw their adventures capture the popular imagination. For his heroism, Goss has been awarded both an
French Legion d’Honneur
. His ability to cope in crisis and sheer strength of mind was also proven when he performed surgery on his own elbow (which had been injured during the storm) without any anaesthetic.
Since the fateful race, Goss has continued to devote his life to sailing. A
, he has continued to seek out some of the most challenging routes. Since the age of 16, when he won his first
, he has sailed more than 200,000 nautical miles and has competed in two round-the-world and six transatlantic competitions, also sailing in adverse conditions during polar explorations and swapping to kayaking for some of his adventures.
In addition to his personal achievements, Goss has been a member of
and has helped to teach numerous newcomers to the sport how to hone their skills and
. As a speaker, he shares tales of his seafaring adventures in order to inspire, educate and sometimes amuse. His ability to relate the qualities and abilities required for extreme sailing to other scenarios helps him to help others believe in themselves, to face setbacks and yet emerge on top. Drawing on his experience on the
Team Philips catamaran project
(in which he led a team of over 100 employees and worked directly with partners and sponsors) and in his work helping to found new businesses, he is able to understand – and assist with – the challenges faced daily by businesses and teams of all sizes.
Positions and Honours
Legion d'Honneur (France)
Associate Fellow - Said Business School, Oxford University
Praise for his 1998 book, ‘Close to the Wind’
“The story of a brave man; a man who turned into the teeth of a hurricane to save the life of a fellow competitor in a single-handed round-the-world yacht race. A wonderful book. I recommend it.”
“Nothing Ian Fleming wrote has you wondering so anxiously how the hero is going to get out of this pickle”
“It celebrates an ancient, beautiful way of being human.”
Praise for Pete Goss
"Thoroughly enjoyed your talk or should I say, motivating and highly inspirational talk. What you showed to us, clearly and vividly, is that if the human spirit is there, then anything is possible. Anything. You demonstrated again and again, when your chips were down, and when you really had your back up against the wall, how deep-seated resolve and determination saw you through some of the most difficult and arduous of times. How you never gave up. Even if the odds were completely stacked against you. You really fired the team up. If you can do what you did with the resources that you had, we can certainly achieve what we are trying to do, with the resources that we have. Or at least we can try our very best" -
Sanjeev Pandya, COO
“Pete Goss made an enormous impression on our audience. He had the right mixture of ‘adventures’, pertinent leadership and teambuilding, delivered in a relaxed and personable manner which left our audience with a lot to think about”
Institute of Management.
“Incredibly motivating. Pete Goss has a unique ability to turn problems into challenges. One of the most thought provoking speakers we have heard."
“Absolutely first class. We were mesmerised. Without doubt the most interesting, stimulating and motivational speaker we have experienced….Pete Goss has excellent management motivation."
Self Belief and Determination
Strength of Mind
Close to the Wind (1998)
Bob 'the cat' Bevan MBE
Rt Hon David Blunkett MP
Francesco Da Mosto
John Reid MP, The Rt Hon Dr
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