Portsmouth cancer survivor finishes Clipper yacht race
CROSSING the Pacific Ocean in a racing yacht has given cancer survivor Mel Thompson the bug for more adventure.
The Portsmouth mum-of-two has completed her section of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
Mel, from North End, sailed with the Great Britain team from Qingdao, in China, to Seattle in one of the longest legs, spending around 30 days at sea.
The ninth race of the 11-month adventure took place just days after Mel and her crew sailed from Queensland, Australia, to Da Nang in Vietnam and then from Vietnam to China.
Mel said: ‘It is lovely to be back on dry land again. I actually kissed the pontoon when we got here.
‘I enjoyed the race, but it was tough physically and mentally and quite emotional at times.
‘But overall I am very pleased to have done it.
‘I was looking at the waves thinking this is amazing – we are in the Pacific.
‘We have crossed it and it was one of those exhilarating experiences.
‘I am chuffed to bits that I have crossed the Pacific in a yacht and I shall dine out on it forever. I am already planning my next adventure.’
As previously reported in The News, Mel was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012.
She is in remission and decided to take part in the Clipper Round the World Race as a way to get fit again.
Mel flew out to western Australia in mid-January and finished the latest race in Seattle last week.
She added: ‘We were all a bit gutted about just missing a podium position, but we gave it our all and we had some bad luck with the weather.
‘For me the first couple of weeks were relatively calm. The weather was amazing, but then when it started to pick up it was physically really hard.
‘It’s tough but you have to grit your teeth and get on with it and try your hardest. Everyone worked really hard.’
Great Britain finished fourth and are currently third in the overall race standings.
Gosport skipper Greg Miller and his Mission Performance team finished in seventh place, but are fifth in the overall race standings.
Portsmouth’s Max Stunell and his PSP Logistics team finished the latest race in 10th position.