‘Life is precious’ says couple ending round the world race

Helen and Carl Hancorn arriving in London at the end of the race
Helen and Carl Hancorn arriving in London at the end of the race

Worthing couple Helen and Carl Hancorn are finally back on dry land after completing the Clipper Round The World Race.

The couple, company directors at Kardinal Healthcare, based in Ardsheal Road, Broadwater, arrived in London on Saturday.

The race was divided into eight legs and 14 individual races, with 12 identical 70ft ocean racing yachts leaving London last August to cover 40,000 nautical miles circumnavigating the world.

Helen and Carl joined their crew and skipper on the Chinese-sponsored boat Qingdao in January to sail from the Whitsunday Islands in Australia to Dan Nang in Vietnam and on to Qingdao in China.

They then flew home to spend some time with their family before rejoining the boat in June for the final stretch home from New York to London, with stopovers at Londonderry in Northern Island and Den Helder in The Netherlands.

They covered 13,483 miles with 70 days at sea.

Helen said: “It’s been such an amazing experience. We have had some real highs and lows.

“We have seen some beautiful sunrises and sunsets, dolphins swimming alongside us, whales and flying fish.

“However, I wasn’t keen on a storm we went through just off China that went on for 12 hours with gusts of 90 miles an hour.

“Sadly we lost a friend, Sarah Young, to the Pacific Ocean when she was swept overboard by a wave as unfortunately she was not clipped on to the boat.

“One thing I have learned from the race is life is so precious and there is a beautiful world out there with some amazing people. Don’t judge those you meet, get to know them and their good sides. Make the most of every moment of every day. Don’t put things off, do it, live life to the full, enjoy it, embrace it and laugh every day.”

The couple have been raising money for Unicef, the chosen charity for the clipper race. Unicef operates in 190 countries around the world and vaccinations are part of their work.

Helen and Carl lost their granddaughter Mariah to meningitis in December 2009, aged 13 months.

Helen said: “As well as taking part in the race it is good to be raising money for a charity. I am also an ambassador for Meningitis Now, raising awareness and funds for the disease.”

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/Helen-Hancorn3.

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