9th Aug, 2020

Amateur sailor due to take part in round the world race takes on new role as carer

Laura Kearns 26th Jun, 2020

A AMATEUR sailor who was set to take part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race has found herself take on the new challenge of a carer.

Marie O’Riley was due to join the crew for the final seven-week leg from New York, arriving in London in August.

But when the pandemic hit the race was postponed and, after her own sales and marketing business also came to a halt, she now finds herself in a very different setting – working as a community care assistant in Stratford.

The 54-year-old from Leamington – who has been training for two years for the race – said: “I was really looking forward to joining my team Dare To Lead. The fleet is currently moored in the Philippines but fingers crossed the race can restart in February and I can sail the final leg next summer.

“In the meantime, I’m continuing to fundraise for UNICEF UK, the charity partner for the race, in order to reach my £1,500 target. Now more than ever they need help to support the world’s most vulnerable children.”

Coronavirus has not only put her adventure on hold. As a freelance sales and marketing consultant all her work has dried up.

As a result, she responded to an appeal from Stratford-based care agency Welcombe Care in March and following training has been working as a care assistant.

She added: “It’s not what I had planned for this summer, however like thousands of other people I’m trying to make myself useful during these uncertain times. I’m really enjoying my new role, caring for our service users in their own homes.”

The Clipper Race is the only event of its type available to non-professional sailors and sees participants live in very basic conditions in a race against 10 other crews.

Each team has a professional skipper and first mate. The rest of the 20-strong crew are amateurs.

Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/marie-o to donate.

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