Waddington sailor in round-world challenge

Bill Backhouse
Bill Backhouse

Waddington sailing enthusiast Bill Backhouse will take part in the Clipper 2011-12 Round the World Yacht Race.

Bill (52), of Prospect Villas, will join the prestigious race for the fourth leg in mid-November, which will see him travel around 4,200 nautical miles, from Western Australia on to New Zealand, and finishing in Queensland in eastern Australia 30 days later.

If successful in completing this massive challenge, Bill aims to raise money for the Brain Research Trust, a cause close to his heart after his friend, local police officer Cate Sutcliffe (34), died of a brain haemorrhage in 2004.

At 40,000 miles in total, the Clipper is the world’s longest ocean race and was established by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to give people from all walks of life, regardless of their sailing experience, the opportunity to experience the exhilaration and thrill of ocean racing. More than 500 people, representing more than 40 nations, will compete in this year’s race.

The race will start from Southampton on July 31st. The route will take the crews of the 10 identical 68-foot yachts via Madeira, Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Qingdao in China, California, Panama, New York, Nova Scotia, Derry-Londonderry in Northern Ireland and the Netherlands, before returning in July 2012 to the south coast of England.

Bill said: “Although I have quite a lot of sailing experience, I’m really keen to try more offshore sailing and I can’t wait to experience a racing yacht in the open ocean.”

Speaking of his chosen charity, he said: “I am dedicating my adventure to a great mate, who sadly died a few years ago. Cate was only in her early 30s, so any money that I can help to raise will go towards this marvellous charity which does invaluable work in an area still shrouded in mystery.”

Follow Bill’s progress and get daily race updates from July 31st at: www.clipperroundtheworld.com. To donate to Bill’s fund-raising effort, visit www.justgiving.com/Bill-Backhouse.