Gritty sailor ticks up another race

Cancer survivor Mary Falk is now within a whisker of her target £100,000 figure for charity, having completed her sixth doublehanded Shetland Round Britain and Ireland Race.

Mary, 63, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005, navigated her way around the gruelling 2,000 mile course with co-skipper Jerry Freeman to finish fourth in class. The race began on Sunday 6th June in Plymouth. It featured four compulsory stops of 48 hours at Kinsale, Barra, Lerwick and Lowestoft and took Mary and Jerry just 3 weeks to complete.

Mary, from Lymington, said: ‘To complete my sixth Round Britain and Ireland Race is a massive achievement and one of which I am extremely proud. There were times during the race that technical difficulties threatened to end our race early and indeed Jerry and I even had to row during the final leg in order to avoid being set onto the rocks by the tide during a windless stretch, so I am delighted that we achieved a top 5 finish. I now can look forward to reaching my £100,000 fundraising goal for the ICR.’

Seasoned sailor Mary began her fundraising efforts in 2006 when she participated in the Petit Bateau Singlehanded Channel Week just months after finishing her final course of chemotherapy. Mary raised an astonishing £40,000 in her first year of fundraising and has since continued to fundraise for the ICR by participating in numerous sailing events. She also regularly gives talks on surviving cancer and fund raising for the ICR through her sailing adventures at clubs and organisations across the country.

‘Mary’s fundraising efforts for the ICR have been nothing short of incredible,’ commented ICR Supporter Fundraising Manager Louise Gebbett ‘She has shown tremendous courage in battling back from the debilitating treatment she received for breast cancer and has gone on to participate in and win prestigious sailing events while raising vital funds for the ICR. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Mary for all her astonishing efforts and urge people to support her in her goal to reach the £100,000 target.’

Donations can be made to help Mary reach her target by visiting Mary’s Just Giving page at and further information on Mary, her sailing ventures and motivational talks are available at