HE HAS already crossed the Tasman Sea and the Atlantic and survived two hurricanes in his attempt to complete one of the last remaining world firsts.

Now Olly Hicks of executive search firm Oliver Stanley is counting down the days until his most extreme mission yet: an 18-month journey to become the first person in history to row solo around the globe.

Hicks’s 2009 attempt was suspended in New Zealand because of his boat’s “fundamental design flaw”. But now he is back with a new 24-foot customised rowing boat that will become his home for two seven-month stints at sea, broken by three months over winter on the island of South Georgia in the South Atlantic.

Hicks will set off on his 18,000-nautical mile voyage in October 2012; in the meantime, he needs to find a sponsor to replace previous backers Google and Virgin.

“There are many ways to skin a cat, but if we can persuade one investor to put in £500k then the job’s a good one,” said Hicks, adding that Aberdeen Asset Management, the sponsor of Cowes Week and the Row to the Pole expedition, would be “a great fit”. Let’s hope Aberdeen’s CEO Martin Gilbert is feeling generous…

SPOTTED spending the Bank Holiday break at his family’s holiday home in Bantham in Devon: Galahad Clark, heir to the Clarks Shoes empire and the UK’s most enthusiastic advocate of barefoot running, after branching out into his Terra Plana business.

Galahad, who this year married a distant relative of Ghengis Khan, clearly loves it by the sea – The Capitalist hears he and his father Lancelot regularly rise at dawn to commute from Totnes to London on Clarks business, rather than staying in the family’s base in the capital.

No word yet though on whether Galahad, a committed follower of the famously silent Quaker movement, always reserves a seat in the quiet carriage.

A GREAT result for Manchester United fans, but the team’s 8-2 win over Arsenal on “Black Sunday” was not so great for Sporting Index, which was ashen-faced as the goal-count continued to climb.

Combined with Manchester City’s 5-1 victory over Spurs, the Manchester clubs cost the firm “just short of a million pounds”. “Only ten times previously have ten or more goals been scored in a single Premier League game,” said a spreadbetter sadly, estimating each Manchester goal cost the firm about £75,000.