Ocean of Hope sailors set sail from Portsmouth

HMS Queen Elizabeth is arriving back into Portsmouth this afternoon

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INSPIRATIONAL sailors bid farewell to Portsmouth as their yacht set sail on the next leg of its round-the-globe challenge.

Oceans of Hope is aiming to be the first to undertake a global circumnavigation with a working crew of people with multiple sclerosis.

Oceans of Hope set sail from Portsmouth for La Rochelle, France, on Sunday.

Phil Gowers, 46, of Gosport, joined the crew on Saturday.

He said: ‘I have been looking forward to getting on board for months. The level of interest in the project has been amazing; it has really captured people’s imaginations.’

Oceans of Hope is a project of the Sailing Sclerosis Foundation which was set up by Dr Mikkel Anthonisen, from the University Hospital of Copenhagen.

The voyage began in Denmark, on June 15 and will continue across the globe before it finishes back in Denmark in autumn 2015.

Oceans of Hope is due to arrive in La Rochelle, France, on July 10.

It hopes to raise awareness of multiple sclerosis, a neurological condition that affects the nerves in the brain and spinal cord. For more go to sailingsclerosis.com.