Congratulations to the 125 or so young people who successfully completed a round-Britain sailing adventure. An achievement of note for an experienced sailor, but even more so for those recovering from cancer. The challenge, which was run by The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, was a marathon relay event, involving youngsters aged between 10 and 30 who took it in turns to crew a 44ft yacht over 17 legs. In all they visited 58 cities and towns across the UK including Cowes, Cardiff, Glasgow, Belfast, Plymouth, Bristol, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Hull, London and Southampton. Round the world yachtswoman, Dame Ellen, explains what the challenge is all about: “rebuilding the confidence, self-belief and independence of those involved”. And it seems it did the job, if what the young sailors had to say about their adventure is anything to go by: 22 year old Ryan Campbell from Inverclyde, who has undergone treatment for a rare type of bone cancer, said: “It’s about surpassing what you think you can’t do…It’s such an amazing cause and there’s nothing else like it out there…It’s not focused on being ill.” Then there is 23 year old Hannah Spencer, a volunteer mate who was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2009. If it wasn’t for the trust, Ms Spencer believes she “wouldn’t be here”. Brings a new meaning to the term ‘trip of a lifetime’.
October 10, 2017