Charlie prepares for epic journey

Mayor Billy Webb wishes Glengormley man Charlie Thompson good luck as he prepares to take part in the Clipper Around the World yacht race. INNT 20-014FP
Mayor Billy Webb wishes Glengormley man Charlie Thompson good luck as he prepares to take part in the Clipper Around the World yacht race. INNT 20-014FP
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GLENGORMLEY man Charlie Thompson will be all at sea this summer as he takes part in the Clipper Around the World yacht race.

The huge event, which began in August last year, sees international crews travel 40,000 miles across the globe in ten ocean racing yachts. Divided over eight legs, the race features participants from 13 countries.

Charlie will be travelling on board the Edinburgh Inspiring Capital boat for the homecoming leg of the race from June 4 to July 22.

After leaving New York, the yachts will call at Halifax, Nova Scotia, then sail across the Atlantic to Derry before heading on to Den Helder in Holland, finally crossing the finish line in Southampton a week before the start of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Racing against nine identical boats, Charlie and his fellow amateur crew members will cover more than 3,800 miles on their epic journey. The route will take the yachtsmen near the site where the Titanic met with disaster on its infamous maiden voyage, and will also involve passing over the Flemish Cap, a fishing ground made famous in the film, The Perfect Storm.

Through his participation in the event, Charlie will be raising much-needed funds for the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, making a real difference to the lives of local children with life-limiting illnesses.

Charlie, who is originally from Derry, has lived in the Hightown Road area for the past 22 years.

The 39-year-old, who will celebrate his 40th birthday at sea, describes taking part in the race as “a dream come true.”

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Actually I’ve always wanted to do the full race, but with two young kids I just wouldn’t be able to justify taking a full year away.

“I’m really looking forward to it and really excited about it - it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I just can’t wait to get going now.”

Donations to Charlie’s fundraising effort can be made online at www.justgiving.com/clipperroundtheworld11-12 or by texting MPQ147 + (the amount) to 70070.

Read the full story in this week’s Times...