Dame Ellen sets sail for Belfast
Published 22/05/2009 | 13:12
Round the world yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur has set sail for Belfast.
She will drop anchor in the city in early August as part of her Skandia Round Britain Voyage with young people who battled cancer.
Dame Ellen arrived back in Britain in February 2005 after her 71-day record-breaking journey.
"I'm absolutely over the moon to be off and to be sharing this moment with the young people who will be sailing on the first leg of this trip," she said.
"At the end of the day, their enjoyment is the most important element and it is lovely that that has now begun.
"The work and generosity that has gone into The Ellen MacArthur Trust Skandia Voyage of Discovery project is second to none, the team at the Trust have been tireless in their preparation and a big thanks to everyone who has helped to get us to the start line."
The trip from Cowes on the Isle of Wight involves 85 young people across 17 legs onboard the Scarlet Oyster yacht.
It stops at London, Edinburgh and Cardiff among others.
Throughout the journey the youths will be returning to the paediatric oncology wards of the hospitals they were treated in to talk to those undergoing treatment for cancer about their experience and show there's a lot to look forward to.
Piers Rowlandson, medical consultant to the Ellen MacArthur Trust, said: "Each young person sailing on this voyage faced huge challenges at an early age, and for others undergoing treatment for cancer to hear such positive stories will be very special.
"The opportunity the Ellen MacArthur Trust Skandia Round Britain Voyage is giving all the young people taking part is something positive they can look back on for years to come."