Sailing star ‘buzzing’ after relay

SMILES Lauren Harris

SMILES Lauren Harris

Portsmouth City Council leader Cllr Donna Jones

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SAILING prodigy Lauren Harris said she will be ‘buzzing for a week’ after holding the Olympic torch in Bournemouth.

The 22-year-old, from Chichester, works for the Portsmouth-based Around and Around sailing charity.

She is in charge of taking a group of disadvantaged youngsters around the world on Sir Alec Rose’s famous yacht Lively Lady.

The aim of Around and Around is to train people like Lauren who will then skipper the yacht on a new adventure around the globe.

Lively Lady is currently berthed at Port Solent where she is open to visitors.

She was nominated by her friend Rachel Shire for all her charity work.

After running with the torch through Bournemouth yesterday, Lauren said: ‘It was so amazing – I don’t think it’s sunk in yet.

‘It was so surreal holding it. I remember thinking why my arms and legs weren’t aching.

‘It exceeded all of my expectations.

‘I was thinking how amazing it was and I didn’t want it to end, I didn’t want to get to the woman in front of me.

‘My family were amazing as loads of them came down to Bournemouth to watch me.’

Lauren, who has just passed her yachtmaster exam, celebrated with her friends in Port Solent last night and shared around her new prized possesion.

She was among the first group of youngsters taken around the world on Lively Lady by veteran sailor Alan Priddy.

After deciding to stay with the charity as a mentor, Lauren was put in charge of the project to restore the yacht to its former glory.

She added: ‘I’d like to thank Rachel for nominating me, my family for turning up and the charity.

‘I think I will be buzzing for a week!’

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