The 12 Clipper 70-foot ocean racing yachts taking part in this year’s race are on their on their way to Rio de Janeiro racing some 5,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean.
Joining the 670 amateur crew taking part is Kristie Reid, 20, from Aberdeen, who has already been through the challenge of cancer. Kristie is spending three weeks at sea racing on board GREAT Britain on Leg 1 as an ambassador of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust (EMCT), the races Official Charity.
Kristie was diagnosed with Biphasic Synovial Sarcoma in August 2009, a rare type of cancer that formed in the joint of her left shoulder. Just 16 at the time, the steps Kristie has taken in her recovery from cancer have been truly inspirational.
Kristie’s first experience sailing came when she was invited to join the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust after finishing treatment in February 2010. Kristie took part in a four-day sailing trip on the south coast of the UK. Having enjoyed the experience so much, she returned to sail with the Trust again in 2012.
The trips inspired a love for sailing and a confidence which pushed Kristie to take on a bigger challenge. Putting herself forward for the Clipper Race selection process in December 2012, Kristie beat off stiff competition to win the chance to compete.
Kristie says: "I can't believe the race has started, I applied back in October 2012 and I’m finally here. The highlight so far is seeing how well our crew have gelled and how well we work together. I've already experienced exactly what I hoped for.”
The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust aims to give young people in recovery from cancer the chance to rebuild their confidence through sailing. Every day, six young people aged 13-24 in the UK are told they have cancer.
The Trust works with every young people primary cancer care unit in the UK. These primary care units deal with around 95% of young people being treated for cancer in the UK and whilst the fleet is racing, hospitals will be avidly following their chosen team and its Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust mascot, Kissy, round the world on the charities facebook page https://www.facebook.com/EllensMascots
Kristie is keeping the Trust and her supporters up to date with her Clipper Race adventure with her blog on the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust news page http://www.ellenmacarthurcancertrust.org/index.php/news. You can also donate to the Trust by visiting uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ClipperRace13-14