A WEST Country teenager in recovery from cancer has been en- joying the sailing experience of a lifetime this week in the latest leg of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust’s epic four-month Round Britain 2017 challenge.
Elliott Howe has been one of eight young people in recovery tackling the 120-nautical-mile leg-11 journey from Cowes on the Isle of Wight to Dartmouth aboard the Trust’s 44ft yacht, Moonspray, as part of a 2,400-mile sailing relay around Britain to celebrate recovery, achievement and potential.
Launched by the yachtswoman in 2003, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is a national charity that aims to rebuild confidence after cancer and uses sailing to support, empower and inspire young people aged 8-24.
Between May and September around 100 young people, who have all sailed with the Trust following cancer treatment, are taking part in Round Britain 2017.
Up to five different young people are joining the crew for each leg, while three of the fulltime crew have also been through treatment and had the Trust’s support over the years.
Elliott, 16, from Truro and his crewmates departed the Trust’s home in Cowes last Sunday, after enjoying the start of the iconic 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race, before heading west to Poole and along the Jurassic Coast for overnight stops in Weymouth and Portland.
The young crew then undertook a cruise along the English Channel to Brixham before the short hop around Berry Head and up the
River Dart, with Moonspray due to arrive at Town Pier in Dart Harbour on Friday.
Elliott, who wants to study computing and maths, first sailed with the Trust in 2016 after undergoing treatment for Langerhans cell histi- ocytosis (LCH) at the Royal Cornwall Hospital between 2006 and 2008.
Before leaving on his Round Britain leg he said: ‘The Trust trips are challenging but also provide you with new life skills, as well as enabling me to talk to people of my own age who have experienced cancer, as not all cancers are the same.
‘I’m looking forward to making new friends and meeting up with friends from last year.
‘Also, I’m looking forward to the different sea conditions and the fact it’s a longer sailing trip.’ Moonspray was due to open to the public at Town Jetty Pontoon yesterday so visitors could meet the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust team, have a look around the boat and learn more about the Trust and its work.
Moonspray is due to depart on the 90-nautical mile sail to Falmouth today, before heading round the South West coast and on to Wales and Belfast.
l Follow the voyage at www.ellenmacarthurcancertrust.org