Vicky Song - Making history

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As thousands of spectators lined the Thames eager to catch a glimpse of their loved ones at the Clipper 2013-14 Race Finish, unbeknown to some, round the world crew member Vicky Song was preparing to step into the history books.

Almost eleven months after departing London’s St Katharine Docks, Vicky joined the rest of her Qingdao Clipper Race team mates to celebrate on stage as she officially became the first Chinese female sailor to circumnavigate the planet.

“It’s hard to capture the feeling and emotions in just a few sentences. It’s unbelievable to think that I am the first Chinese woman to sail around the world. No words can really sum up the feeling. Race Finish went so quickly, but it was one of the best moments in my entire life," added Vicky.

Following a welcome reception from a proud Chinese delegation who flew in from Qingdao, China to congratulate Vicky in person, thoughts of her incredible achievement have still yet to hit home.

“We all knew it was going to come to an end at some point, but when you sail, live and breathe on a boat with people for eleven months it’s very difficult to just step off. They become your family, your support system and your best friends. Of course there were times when I thought, can I really do this? It was tough, relentless at times but so worth it.”

Vicky went onto add, “It was a privilege to stand on stage with my team at Race Finish. We may not have won the race but we were recognised for our seamanship skills when we received the Clipper Race Henri Lloyd Seamanship Award - we all felt like winners on the day.”

As Vicky arrived home in Qingdao last week to hundreds of supporters and a celebrity style welcome, there was one person she couldn’t wait to see. Her mother, who while Vicky was battling the high seas has been fighting her own battle with terminal liver cancer.

“When I stepped off the plane I could see so many banners with my name on it and so many people, hundreds of people, eager to speak to me or have their picture taken with me.

“Being able to fling my arms around my mum after all her support was an incredible feeling. I remember when we arrived home during the Qingdao stopover back in March; she was waiting on for me on the pontoon and I can remember just bursting into tears.

“Nothing could beat the feeling of seeing my mum and us being together again. I cherish every moment. Making her proud was always so important to me and I want to show other people life is precious so make sure you make the most of it.”

To celebrate her achievement Vicky was guest of honour at a ceremony hosted by The Rose Alliance. The organization, which was formed by a group of young successful female entrepreneurs, who are dedicated to sharing their success and inspiring stories, experiences, and providing aid to women in great need of assistance.  

Inspired by Vicky and her mother’s story, the group started and managed a donation campaign for Vicky's mother’s cancer treatment, with the total currently standing at 150,000 RMB (just under £15,000).

“It was a great honour to be invited to such a prestigious event and share my experiences in front of so many women that I personally admire. Their generosity and support has been incredible and I can’t thank them enough for all their hard work and fundraising for my mother’s treatment.”

After achieving so much, Vicky already has her sights firmly on the future as she looks forward to her next adventure.

“What’s next for me? Well I have kept a journal throughout my journey which I’m looking to get published as well as a  TV series that’s airing on Beijing TV about my achievements. I look forward to sharing my experiences and story with the people of China and helping to inspire other people to try sailing and dream big. I also want to complete my qualifications to become a skipper too, so watch this space.”