In this record breaking year, 22 young people, 15 volunteers and four skippers have successfully sailed around the Isle of Wight today with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust; joining the 1342 boats entered into the Round the Island Race in association with Cloudy Bay. But not all the action was on the water as in hot pursuit on shore were 117 incredible runners and riders who cycled and ran varying distances across and around the undulating Isle of Wight. Their fundraising total currently stands at an amazing £26,186!!!
With four different boats in four different classes the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust crews were bound to be feeling a little competitive but taking the upper hand out in the lead in Class O was EMCT 4 who crossed the finished line at 13:04:25 after a 05:30 start. Following in hot pursuit were EMCT 1, 2 and 3 who had everyone glued to the race tracker on the final leg as they put all their teamwork into practice with multiple tacks up around the Eastern point of the Isle of Wight from Bembridge around to Ryde. Finishing in order in the end the timings were: EMCT 1 16:30:31; EMCT 2 16:42:40; EMCT 3 16:56:03.
Aiden (15) who was on board EMCT 3 said: “We didn’t mind being on a later start than the others as it meant we got to see the amazing sites in front of us all the way around”. On EMCT 1 was Abbie (14) who added: “It was pretty smooth sailing for us for most of the race but we did need to jump into action as we rounded Bembridge and did a number of tacks to get us round. It was great fun!”
With a change in tidal direction and the wind swinging to a WSW adding to the difference between the first and last Trust boats, the crew onboard EMCT 1 had a few hours to wait before being allowed their celebratory fish and chips back on shore!
Joining the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust as a guest today was Alexa who attended on behalf of Musto Clothing; a key supporter of the charity. Alexa joined the young people on board EMCT 3 having never sailed with the Trust or taken part in the race previously and commented on the way around saying: “I’m having an awesome day on board with the Trust! It’s so lovely to be able to join all the amazing young people for such an iconic event”.
As well as the runners, cyclists and individual boats fundraising for the Trust, as Official Race Charity the Trust also had a stand in the Race Village with visitors getting the chance to find out more about how they could get involved and support more young people in recovery from cancer following treatment as well as purchase exclusive Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust merchandise including deck chairs, umbrellas, hats, t-shirts and hoodies.
The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust aims to build confidence through positive shared experience. For every young person they currently support, there are nine they cannot, yet. This can only be changed with a shift in awareness, both with hospital and medical support networks, and a step change in public profile The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust hope that fundraising events such as this race, alongside their social media campaign, #tell9people, will be a key catalyst for this change.