Published: 17/02/2005, Volume II5, No. 5943 Page 34

Trust directors stuck for ideas on how to fashion senior and middle managers into a ship-shape and watertight crew need look no further.

Inspiration awaits them in the shape of Ian Carey, the man with the copperbottomed plan to lead this years NHS entry in the Fastnet yacht race.

A commissioning manager for Barnsley primary care trust and an experienced sailor, this will be Ian's maiden Fastnet, an exacting competition across often treacherous waters. And to make it that bit more special, he wants to put together a crew consisting entirely of NHS employees.

So far Ian has one recruit, his sister Alison, a community midwife with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals foundation trust, and interest from several parties including a chief executive and a consultant haematologist.

The desire to crew a yacht with NHS staff reflects Ian's views on the multiple gains that such a venture offers. 'Many companies invest in adventure sailing.

It is a fantastic way to strengthen teamwork skills, ' he says.

The ideal shipmate will have some prior experience, but Ian reckons an ability to have fun in arduous conditions is equally important. Just finishing the event will be a real accomplishment.

Starting on Sunday 7 August from Cowes, Isle of Wight, the fleet sails out to the Fastnet rock and then heads back for Plymouth.

If you find yourself drawn by the call of the sea, you can contact Ian on 0114231 0686 or ian@owlerton. com