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Norfolk man launches bid to sail around the world three years after a heart attack

John Fahey, from Beeston Regis, who is raising money to sail as a crew member in the next Clipper Round the World Yacht Racing Challenge, through which he aims to raise £100,000 for charity. Picture: JOHN FAHEY

John Fahey, from Beeston Regis, who is raising money to sail as a crew member in the next Clipper Round the World Yacht Racing Challenge, through which he aims to raise £100,000 for charity. Picture: JOHN FAHEY

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It is one of the toughest challenges on the seven seas.

The Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race Fleet. Picture: ONEDITIONThe Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race Fleet. Picture: ONEDITION

And just three years after having a heart attack, John Fahey, of Beeston Regis, plans to take part in the next Clipper Round the World Yacht Racing Challenge, an event that covers 40,000 nautical miles and takes 11 months to complete.

Mr Fahey, who will be 66 when the race starts in summer next year, said: “It’s a very significant challenge - it’s no jolly gin-and-tonic sail around the world.

“People break bones, people have died.”

He hopes to use the race to raise thousands of pounds for two charities - the Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm) which is a leading a movement against male suicide, and the Norfolk Heart Trust - which supports the specialist heart unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital - the unit that helped him recover from his heart attack.

A scene from the Clipper Round the World Challenge. Picture: JEAN-MARCUS STROLEA scene from the Clipper Round the World Challenge. Picture: JEAN-MARCUS STROLE

Mr Fahey said both were causes which meant a lot to him and were making a huge difference in people’s lives.

He said of Calm and men’s mental health: “The statistics are shocking. This is huge issue that can’t be ignored any longer - 84 men in the UK take their own lives every week, that’s one every two hours.”

But before Mr Fahey can even get to the starting line, he has to raise the £49,000 entry fee, which he aims to do by gaining sponsorship from businesses, both local and national.

He said he wanted to become an ambassador for his sponsors and would be able to bring them positive publicity from around the world - before, during and after the race.

A scene from the Clipper Round the World Challenge. Picture: JEAN-MARCUS STROLEA scene from the Clipper Round the World Challenge. Picture: JEAN-MARCUS STROLE

The challenge will see up to 700 people crew 12 70-foot ocean racing yachts, visiting 13 countries on six continents.

Known as the ‘Everest of the seas’, it was conceived by Sir Robin Knox-Johnson, the first person to sail solo, non-stop around the world.

Mr Fahey said he wanted to push himself to the limit, and show that heart attack victims do not have to sit at home and vegetate. He said he also wanted to inspire others, and: “prove that age is no barrier to life’s challenges.”

Anyone interested in sponsoring Mr Fahey or learning more about the challenge can email john@johnsroundtheworldchallenge.com or call him on 07710 169860. Visit clipperroundtheworld.com to find out more about the challenge.

One of the yachts in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet. Picture: ONEDITIONOne of the yachts in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet. Picture: ONEDITION


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