SAILOR Ed Collison is back on board a racing yacht heading for home after recovering from a broken foot mid-way through a global race.
The 19-year-old is the youngest person in the Clipper Round the World Race and was distraught when he slipped while on a stopover in Jamaica.
Ed, of Lark Way, Westbourne, missed 3,000 miles of the 44,000-mile race after the mishap.
But he is now back on the Invest Africa Clipper 70 yacht and on the penultimate race from Derry-Londonderry to Dan Helder in the Netherlands. From there he will race back to London.
Speaking before he rejoined the crew, he explained how he’d been walking to his boat on the first day in Jamaica.
He said: ‘I walked by the swimming pool wearing flip flops and slipped and fell down the stairs.
‘I heard the pop when my foot turned over.
‘I was absolutely gutted. I felt like everything I was working for was not worth anything.’
He flew home a week later – but was at least able to celebrate his 19th birthday on June 21.
Ed added: ‘I thought of it as an opportunity to go and see family again.
‘I’m a great believer in everything happening for a reason.’
It took just three weeks for Ed’s right foot to heal.
The teenager is the youngest person who was due to race the full 44,000 miles.
But he is still happy with his achievement so far.
As reported, crews in the Clipper race, which has its headquarters in Gosport, are due to arrive back in London on July 12. It will mark the end of the race that will have lasted more than 10 months.
Crews from the area are taking part and were treated to a Red Arrow display as they departed Derry-Londonderry on Monday.
Gareth Glover, from Gosport, is skipper of the Qingdao yacht and Pete Stirling, from Titchfield, is leading Jamaica Get All Right.