They’re normally known for their sporting success on the water. But this month a trio of sailing celebrities are swapping deck shoes for trainers as they take part in the ABP Southampton Half Marathon.
Dee Caffari MBE, Helena Lucas MBE and Sarah Ayton OBE, will be among the 10,000 runners taking part in Southampton’s biggest running event on Sunday, April 23.
All three are taking part to raise money for Sail 4 Cancer, Sunsail’s chosen charity, and have been training hard on land in addition to their usual sailing exploits on the water.
Dee, who famously became the first woman to have sailed single-handed and non-stop around the world in both directions, said:
To push yourself outside your comfort zone and test the boundaries you naturally set yourself is difficult, but compared to the challenge that face sufferers of cancer and their families each day, it is nothing.
The sailor, who is no stranger to physical challenges having competed in the gruelling Vendee Globe ocean race, added:
I am nervous but also incredibly proud to be part of Team Sunsail taking part in the Southampton Half choosing to raise funds for Sail 4 Cancer.
I am really looking forward to running in the ABP Southampton Half Marathon as part of Team Sunsail. This will be my first half marathon and I couldn’t think of a better charity to be running for. It will certainly inspire me to push on to the finish when my legs start feeling tired!
Joining Dee and Helena at the start line will be Helena Lucas MBE, the first British sailor to win a Paralympic gold medal, and Sarah Ayton OBE. For Sarah, taking part in the ABP Southampton Half Marathon forms part of training for her latest challenge – to become a jockey. The double Olympic sailing gold medallist is currently training to take part in The Magnolia Cup at Goodwood on August 3.
Sunsail is the official sailing partner of the ABP Southampton Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k. Dee and Helena are Sunsail ambassadors and work with the sailing firm to inspire more people to take up on-water sports.