THE skipper who will lead Liverpool's bid for glory in the Clipper 05-06 Round The World Yacht Race has finally been named.

Tim Magee, an Everton fan, says it would be the proudest moment of his life to be the first across the finishing line in a boat with the city's name on it.

The 27-year-old will set sail in the Liverpool '08 Clipper from the Albert Docks in September and will not return until the following summer.

Liverpool City Council has sponsored the boat to take part in the international amateur race as part of the Capital of Culture campaign.

Mr Magee, who lives in the Isle of Wight, but has relatives on Merseyside, said: "With many Merseyside family ties and a true appreciation of what the city of Liverpool has to offer, I will take great pride in representing the city around the world.

"As a competitive skipper I will take even more pride in winning the race on the Liverpool '08 yacht.

"The achievement for me will be to safely get the crew racing as optimally as they can in various conditions."

Mr Magee successfully passed through a gruelling selection process, but his wealth of sailing experience proves he is more than a match for the job.

He started dinghy sailing at the age of five before progressing to yachts.

He then decided to make a career out of teaching on yachts four years ago and has made a string of successful voyages across the oceans.

The Liverpool Clipper, designed by world famous design house Dubois Naval Architects and built by Shangai Double Happiness

Yachts in China, is one of a ten-strong fleet to be raced by international teams.

Mr Magee will take charge of a 17-strong crew to sail 35,000 miles of sea in the world's longest circumnavigation race.

Council leader Mike Storey said last night: "Liverpool is a winning city and I am confident that, with Tim at the helm of our yacht, the Liverpool '08 team will be a considerable force to be reckoned with."

Race organisers Clipper Ventures PLC, chaired by Sir Robin Knox Johnston, a patron of Sea Liverpool, will officially reveal all 10 skippers chosen today.

Mr Magee faces tough competition against skippers from a formidable international field such as Australia, Africa, Singapore and title defenders Jersey.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: "Tackling this unique challenge, with its roaring gales and towering seas, as well as frustrations of tricky calm spells, is no mean feat.

"But I am confident the skippers we have selected are very much up to the challenge."

In June, Clipper crew members will be assigned to skippers at Liverpool's St George's Hall.

This will be the first time the crew members will meet their skippers and discover which nation they will represent.

The Clipper 05-06 race will be a major event linking the Capital of Culture themed years; Sea Liverpool in 2005 and Year of Performance in 2006.