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I write this on April 1st sitting in the new London Olympic Stadium bathed in sunshine and watching, of all things, an oompah band. The rest of the world is, I’m sure, grateful to the Germans (or was it the Austrians) for their contribution to musical culture. Today is the Olympic Gold Challenge Event when schools and corporates get to race in the Olympic Stadium in return for their charity fund-raising efforts. In turn, the Olympics organisers get to test their security and logistical arrangements. So far so good – the atmosphere is starting to wipe away the thought of all those billions spent on the 2012 games!

So, as signs of spring start to cheer up those in the Northern Hemisphere, we at Spinnaker remain perplexed by but optimistic about the state of the market. Undoubtedly there will be blood on the carpets in 2012, but there is a whole host of clever folk out there showing their strengths and making healthy profits in this market and they are keeping us busy – we have never had so many vacancies in all of Spinnaker’s fifteen years.

The best shipping conference in 2012 is PYNDA's 40th anniversary spectacular, discussing how we got here, riding the storm and tomorrow’s world. It’s in April, it’s not for profit, it’s at the IMO and it’s limited to 250 places and at only £250 tickets will go fast.

And all you HR people and line managers who think about people issues need not feel left out. The Maritime HR Forum hosts its annual two day conference in May.

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