Former Paralympic sailing star Hannah Stodel has announced that she’ll be taking on one of the toughest domestic yacht racing events later this month when she hits the start line of the RORC Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, an 1805-mile challenge which starts and finishes in the Solent off Cowes.
For Stodel this marks the next step of her ‘single-handed single-handed’ Vendee Globe campaign, but the three-time World Champion will be taking on this challenge as part of a four-person crew alongside team mates Tim Atkins, Will Rogers and Quentin Bes-Green.
Born missing her right lower arm Hannah went on to become four-time Paralympian in the Sonar class, but since sailing was dropped from the Paralympics after the Rio 2016 Games she has set her sights on becoming the first disabled athlete to attempt the toughest solo race in the sport, the Vendee Globe which starts in 2020.
It’s been a tough campaign so far for the Essex-based athlete who needs to raise millions to fund her circumnavigation but she is showing her characteristic determination to succeed. In order to get her to the start line of the Round Britain and Ireland Race, which starts the day after Cowes Week, she has been out seeking sponsors to fund the charter of a Class 40 yacht and to pay the costs associated with the race, much of which she has achieved thanks to the help of Learning Skills and Solutions, law firm CMS, Marlow Ropes, Helly Hansen, Fuse and Tent Meals. With crowdfunding she hopes to make up the shortfall.
“I’m delighted to be taking part in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race. It only takes place once every four years so it was an opportunity that I didn’t want to miss. I’m so grateful to all of the sponsors who have come on board to get me to the start of the race as it simply wouldn’t have been possible without them. I hope that taking part will help raise awareness of my Vendee Globe ambitions so that we can find the funding to take part in the biggest race that there is,” said Hannah on her resolve to reach the start line in France in two years’ time.
“Round Britain and Ireland is three times longer than the Fastnet Race so it’s going to be tough, but it is a perfect training opportunity for me and I’m lucky to be sailing with a great crew. It’s an event that attracts some really serious racers so it’s the perfect test for me at this stage of my campaign and gives me lots of time to get used to sailing the Class 40.”
You can follow Hannah’s progress via her social media:
You can donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/round-britain-and-irealnd?member=497840
The Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race starts on Sunday 12th August 2018 from Cowes. All boats will carry trackers and full coverage of the race is available by visiting the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race’s minisite: http://roundbritainandireland.rorc.org/