Show salute for cancer-sufferers

After almost 2,000 nautical miles and more than four months at sea, record-breaking yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur’s Round Britain voyage will arrive at the PSP Southampton Boat Show on Friday 11 September, before finishing her voyage in Cowes on Saturday 12 September.

The arrival of the Ellen MacArthur Trust yacht, Scarlet Oyster, into the marina at 10:00am on the Show’s opening day will fulfil an ambitious challenge mounted by the Trust and a crew of young people in recovery from cancer and leukaemia to sail around the British Isles this summer.

‘Scarlet Oyster’ will moor and be displayed at the show until Saturday morning (12 September), when she will return to her original starting post in Cowes.

Since Scarlet Oyster left Cowes on 3 May, the Ellen MacArthur Trust Skandia Round Britain voyage/> has stopped at 17 ports around England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.  Along the way, the young crew members have returned to the paediatric oncology wards of the hospitals they were treated in and relayed their experiences, leaving a positive message of what the future can hold for those currently undergoing treatment for cancer.

Over 70 young people have sailed aboard the yacht throughout the voyage. Trust patron Dame Ellen has participated in several legs of the journey. The voyage reflects the route sailed by Dame Ellen on her first trip sailing around Britain in Iduna in 1995.

Dame Ellen will spend Friday 11 September at the PSP Southampton Boat Show. At 1.45pm she will join fellow sailor Dee Caffari and lead Show visitors in an attempt to break the world record for the most people to send a semaphore message.  Throughout the Show, which this year adopts a ‘Record Breakers’ theme, famous sailing personalities will help visitors master the art of semaphore and lead assaults on the world record each day.

Andrew Williams, managing director of National Boat Shows (NBS), said: “We’re thrilled that this inspirational voyage will be visiting the Show. The courage and determination exemplified by Scarlet Oyster’s young crew has been instrumental in the success of the voyage and in stimulating other cancer sufferers. NBS congratulates the crew and looks forward to welcoming them to Southampton.”