Former fireman Mike Golding became a full-time pro sailor in 1992 when he was selected as a skipper in Sir Chay Blyth's British Steel Challenge.
Lives: Warsash, Hants
Family: Married to Andrea, 18-month-old son Soren
Vendee Globes: 1
Since then he has risen to become one of Britain's best solo sailors and is among the Vendee Globe favourites.
Golding, 44, is the only Briton to have sailed single-handed and non-stop around the world in both directions.
He has lapped the planet five times - three times solo - and raced in the 2001 Vendee Globe, finishing seventh.
Golding's dreams of Vendee Globe glory were shattered three years ago just eight hours after the start when his boat Team Group 4 was dismasted.
He restarted eight days later and fought his way back up through the 24-boat fleet to finish seventh, and fourth fastest on the water, a feat overshadowed by Ellen MacArthur's second place.
In his youth, Golding raced dinghies, keelboats and yachts and competed in his own trimaran Gazelle in the single-handed transatlantic race and Round Britain and Ireland Race.
In 1992-93, Golding and his crew of 13 amateurs on Group 4 finished second in the British Steel Challenge by just 70 minutes after 151 days of sailing.
The following year he sailed non-stop around the world westabout against the prevailing winds and currents, beating Blyth's record by 125 days and setting a new world circumnavigation record of 161 days.
Golding entered the 1996-97 British Steel race - renamed the BT Global Challenge - in Group 4, winning five of the six legs to triumph overall.
Since then Golding has enjoyed success in a host of solo and short-handed races, and has taken delivery of a new Open 60 Ecover as he continues his quest to excel in the solo ocean racing arena.
The Transat: 1st
The Calais 1,000 miles: 2nd
Transat Jacques Vabre: 3rd (on new Open 60 Ecover)
Calais Round Britain Race: 3rd
Atlantic Challenge: 1st
Route du Rhum: 2nd
Transat Jacques Vabre: 2nd (with Marcus Hutchinson)
EDS Atlantic Challenge: 3rd (on Open 60 Ecover)
Vendee Globe: 7th
Europe1 New Man Star: 3rd
Transat Jacques Vabre: 3rd (with Ed Danby)
Around Alone: Winner of the first leg before being forced to retire
Atlantic Alone: 2nd (on new Open 60 Team Group 4)
BT Global Challenge: 1st on Group 4
Single-handed westabout round-the-world record: 161 days
British Steel Challenge: 2nd on Group 4