Steady as she goes: Aboyne man prepares for adventure

Yacht it again: Neil on the bow
Yacht it again: Neil on the bow

An Aboyne man will face some of the most extreme sailing conditions in the world when he takes part in a race, circumnavigating the globe.

Neil Marchant will take part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race this year on board the 70 foot ‘Great Britain’ racing yacht which was unveiled to the public at Trafalgar Square on July 31.

Neil will be undertaking one of the most challenging legs of the 11 month voyage, rounding the Cape of Good Hope and crossing the Southern ocean where the waves can be as large as skyscrapers.

The Clipper race started last weekend (Sunday September 1) from St Katharine’s Dock in London with twelve 70-foot ocean-racing vessels joined by a paddleship steamer, pilot boats, police boats,and other pleasurecraft.

Neil’s Southern Ocean leg will begin in Cape Town at the end of October and end in Western Australia about 25 days later.

Neil, who works for Nexen in Aberdeen said:“It’s been an ambition of mine for many years to sail across an ocean, the race adds another dimension by pitting 12 matched racing yachts against each other.

“The past two races have been won by Australian boats so now it’s time for a British winner and what better boat to win than Team Great Britain & Northern Ireland.

I chose to race the Southern ocean leg due to the scale of the leg - over 4700 miles - and the potential to be pushing the boats fast down the rolling seas of the southern ocean. It won’t be an easy time but I am looking forward to the mental and physical challenges.”

Neil hopes to raise £1 for every mile he sails setting his target for fundraising at £4,700.

Any funds raised will be equally split between two charities the Royal National Lifeboat Institute and the Ellen McArthur Cancer Trust which provides sailing opportunities for children who have cancer.

If you would like to sponsor Neil or read more about his sailing challenge then you can do so at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/NeilMarchant