A Swedish sailor is participating in a renowned two-week transatlantic yacht race – for the peace and quiet.
Helena Sandberg, 32, originally from Tidaholm in Sweden but now living in central London, was tempted to compete in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) by the chance to get away from busy London life.
One of 12 crew members to sign up with Southampton-based sailing specialists First Class Sailing, Helena will embark on the high-profile 2,700-mile ARC from Las Palmas in the Canaries to St. Lucia in the Caribbean on November 20.
The Challenger 72, a 72-foot yacht entered by First Class Sailing, will be skippered by Ricky Chalmers, with support from a mate and two watch leaders, and is one of over 200 vessels taking part in the race, which is expected to finish in early December.
Helena, who works in property investment, welcomes the opportunity to be out in the open air.
She said: “I just wanted to cross a big ocean like the Atlantic and not see land for a while. It will be a nice change from sitting in front of a computer all day.”
Sailing was a big part of her life as her family used to travel from Tidaholm, with its population of 8,000 and wooded countryside, to the coast.
“As a family we used to go to the east coast of Sweden for one month and just go sailing. When I turned 18 I started to become properly interested,” she said.
“After that – maybe ten years ago – I realised I both wanted and needed to have the peaceful experiences that sailing can give you and my passion for it has led to competing in the ARC.”
First Class Sailing provides the full range of RYA sailing courses, plus a huge variety of yachting experiences – including delivering the ARC yacht to Las Palmas via the Bay of Biscay and back across the Atlantic to the UK from St. Lucia.
The company has been awarded a Trip Advisor certificate of excellence three years running.
Sailing holidays to various parts of the world are on offer, including Norwegian fjord cruises next year and participation in races such as the 2017 ARC Rally, The Rolex Fastnet – a race from Cowes to Ireland, finishing in Plymouth – and the Round the Island race circumnavigating the Isle of Wight.
Anyone wishing to book a place at the 2017 ARC with First Class Sailing should contact Charlie Tulloch on 0203 006 3717 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org