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FORMER George Ward School pupil, Elizabeth Adams, who has embarked on one of the most challenging of all sailing experiences; the Round the World Clipper Race, sailing from Liverpool to Fremantle in Australia, has successfully completed the second leg of her challenge.
In August, Melksham Independent News reported as Elizabeth set sail from Liverpool with the first destination Uruguay, nearly 6,000 miles across the Atlantic.
Now, Elizabeth and her team ‘UNICEF’ have arrived in Cape Town, South Africa, after an arduous 4,000-mile trip across the Southern Atlantic to complete the second leg of her three-leg race.
In Cape Town, Elizabeth was reunited with her parents, Jennifer and Charles from Melksham, who had travelled out to help celebrate the finish of the second leg. As well as fundraising for the UNICEF, a global charity raising money for children’s programmes, Elizabeth is also raising money for a new wheelchair for Melksham girl, Mia. She has raised nearly £13,000 and is targeting £15,000.
Commenting on the second leg, Elizabeth said, “It was amazing to see land and local fishing boats after nearly 18 days at sea. Table Mountain suddenly appeared on the horizon about 35 miles off and there were a lot of high fives and tears. It’s a strange feeling to see other signs of human life again. As we got closer you could really smell the land!”
During leg two, the crew faced sea sickness, a flu bug and a few people suffered injuries as the 70 foot sailing boat battled 30 feet waves and strong winds.
Elizabeth added, “I was learning to helm properly as we went along. Sometimes the huge roller waves pick up the boat like a surfboard. It really surges forward in the spray and picks up high speeds of over 20 knots.”
The crew were beset by further problems because the huge tennis court-sized spinnaker sail got twisted around a critical part of the rigging, snapping it not once but twice.
Elizabeth said, “The spinnaker is quite challenging to fly and unfortunately we had really back luck. Our supporters got a bit of a shock on the race tracker when they saw we had not only stopped (we had to heave to make repairs) but were heading backwards to Uruguay at one point. It was pretty demoralising because it meant we dropped behind the rest of the fleet and were basically out of the race for the rest of the leg.”
Challenges aside, the crew saw whales, dolphins leaping along the bow and soaring albatrosses above the boat. They are now in Cape Town carrying out essential deep clean and repairs and restocking the boat of food. They will be next heading round the Cape of Good Hope to Australia through the infamous Southern Ocean and the punishing conditions of the Roaring Forties.
Elizabeth said, “This will be the toughest leg by far; I’m pretty apprehensive about it but we ill rally together as a crew and get through it. Wish us luck!”
Anyone wishing to contribute can do so at the following non-profit-making website: http://uk.virgin moneygiving.com/LiziSails ToAustralia To find more about the race itself, visit http://clipperroundthe world.com.