She continued “When I was in the hospital I had a lot of time in isolation so I didn’t get to meet many people who were my age that had gone through a similar kind of thing. This race really helped, even though we didn’t talk about ‘it’ all that often we did mention ‘it’ and have a little chat but, it’s just helpful really to know that people get what you’ve been through and working as a team on the boat has been great fun.”
Now in its 85th year, the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race regularly attracts over 1,500 boats and 16,000 people who sail the 50 nautical mile course around the Isle of Wight. As the Official Charity since 2007, the Trust has raised over £200,000 to date through the Race.
Founder of the Trust and successful solo yachtswoman, Dame Ellen MacArthur, also took part in the race onboard Moonspray. She commented: “Today has been an amazing day on so many fronts; we have 24 young people who have had an absolutely fantastic Round the Island Race. It was windy, it was challenging, but we had bright sunshine all the way around and they really, really enjoyed it.”
Launched in 2003, the aim of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is to give young people in recovery from cancer the chance to rebuild their confidence through sailing. In its 13th year, the Trust has grown beyond every expectation into a national charity, working with every young person Principal Treatment Centre and a growing number of Designated Units in the UK.
In addition to the annual Round the Island Race event, the Trust runs trips for young people in recovery from cancer throughout the summer. Sailing on board 42-48 foot cruising yachts, the trips provide a chance for the young people to test themselves in a safe and supportive environment. During the four day trips the young people, aged 8-24, are encouraged to work as a team and to get involved in every aspect of being on board, from helming the boat to cooking.