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Beacon of Hope Sailing Project Launches a Round the World Yacht Race World Record Attempt

14th February 2021
Beacon of Hope Sailing Project Launches a Round the World Yacht Race World Record Attempt

Tuesday 9 February 2021 will see the launch of the UK's Beacon of Hope Sailing Project's ambitious and unique circumnavigation of the globe. The crew of sailors, all of whom have been through life-changing experiences or illness, will attempt to achieve at least two world records on their incredible journey. Firstly the fastest non-professional team to circumnavigate the globe against wind and currents in the wrong direction. Secondly the fastest Atlantic Crossing for a Farr 65 yacht.

The team of 10 team members will depart from Cowes on their 38,000 nautical mile journey in June 2022. The project founded by Aaron Baxter, 21, from Gosport, Thomas Miles, 21, of Newport and Matthew Harris 53, all of whom have been through life-changing illnesses, will take them through ten countries including, St Lucia, the Falkland Islands, The U.S.A., New Zealand and South Africa.

The team will co-ordinate with various charities en route, including the Just One Ocean conservation project based at the University of Portsmouth. The Beacon of Hope's Sailing project was created to support those who have endured traumatic life events and to help them to launch their own journeys into a new and confident life. It aims to demonstrate the healing effects of sailing on both mental and physical health by promoting growth in independence.

"After I had medically recovered from my illness, I was expected to move forward with my life immediately, be able to explain to my employers and friends what I'd been through as well as obtaining a new job straight away in order to live. I found this very difficult. I needed an opportunity to reflect on what I had actually just gone through and to plan how to get back on track. " – Thomas Miles – Co-founder

The vessel selected for the journey is 'Albatross II' a Farr 65 designed by Bruce Farr, previously known as the 'Spirit of Diana', one of only 5 vessels built at the cost of $1 million each to compete in the Millennium Round the World Yacht Race from 1999-2000. During their first round of fundraising from sponsors, members of the public and continuous partnerships the team will purchase and undertake the extensive refit of the vessel in order to make the vessel suitable for both the purpose of the training and the race.

Following the race, the Beacon of Hope Sailing Project C.I.C. plans to establish a base on the Isle of Wight as a lasting legacy of their journey. The team will continue to enter the vessel into regattas and races such as the Round the Island Race, the Fastnet, and, in time, even larger races such as the Vendee Globe. From this base they will offer sailing and water-sports activates, helping people on their journey of recovery also offering practical, workshops to support people on a return to a fuller life as well as the base for the race team.

Published in Cruising
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