She spent years waving farewell to clients from the quayside, now Katie Beney is taking the opportunity to tick one off her 'bucket list' and join the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race herself.
The former Sponsorship Manager for Clipper Ventures is to join the PSP Logistics boat for the Australian leg of the race, including the legendary Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.
Katie, 40, of Winchester, now works for Hampshire based global logistics company PSP, which is using its involvement with the race to build business links around the world.
"Lots of people have taken part in the race and then gone on to work for Clipper Ventures but as far as I'm aware, I am the first to do it the other way around," said Katie. "This is on my bucket list. I have always wanted to take part in one of the most extreme and highly regarded races where amateur boats are allowed to compete against the elite. So, when I heard the Clipper Race fleet was going to take part in the 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, it felt like fate. I said this is my moment.
"I started sailing when I was five years old. My mother sold a family heirloom, a grandfather clock and bought a boat for us all to learn to sail in. I have been doing it ever since and my career has been focused around the sport."
PSP is hoping to add £1m to its turnover with the new business developed during the course of the Clipper Race and Katie will be driving that down under.
"I'll be representing PSP in all the Australian ports of call - Albany, Sydney, Hobart and Brisbane - along with our Australian partner AAW. We'll be meeting customers who are exporting and importing with the UK. The aim is that by the end of the race we'll have an alliance of partners in all the ports of call, boosting business between the UK and these destinations."
PSP Managing Director Frank Dixie said: "Katie lives and breathes the Clipper Race, so we are delighted she has this opportunity to go there, fulfil her dream and help develop our Australian business in the process.
"She's going to be providing us with regular blogs and updates from the boat and, as anyone who knows Katie will tell you, they are guaranteed to be a lively read.
"We wish her and all the other crew on PSP Logistics a fair wind and lots of luck for the 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race."
Katie is also hoping to raise £1,000 for race charity the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust by dying her hair blue.
"A lot of people who do the Clipper Race do it for charity, but, because I've sailed all my life and used to teach sailing, I didn't feel comfortable asking people to sponsor me for a leg of the race. So I thought I'd do something different to encourage them to put their hand in their pocket. I've died my hair blue because it's the colour of the charity."
PSP is also backing the trust with an innovative fundraising keel signing ceremony in Sydney when the boats are lifted out of the water for a refit.
Katie will be writing a regular blog chronicling her race experience at http://pspkatie.tumblr.com/