Round the Island is Hancock’s latest adventure
- Credit: Archant
Charity fundraiser Joanna Hancock will turn her attention to raising money for young people in recovery from cancer to go sailing with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust when she takes part in this year’s JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race.
The Hatfield Olympic torchbearer, in recognition of her efforts in raising thousands of pounds for different charities, will be among some 16,000 sailors set to tackle the famous 50 nautical mile course around the Isle of Wight, on Saturday, June 21.
Now in its 83rd year, the JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, organised by the Island Sailing Club, regularly attracts over 1,700 boats. It is the UK’s fourth largest participation sports event after the London Marathon and the Great North and South Runs.
Hancock and her friends will be embracing the spirit of the race, donning full fancy dress, after successfully bidding for the sail on the charter yacht, Jeopardy II, in an auction of promises raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support last autumn.
Sailing is just the latest activity she has turned her hand to fundraise – she has a London Marathon, numerous 10k races and half-marathons not to mention charity treks up Mount Kilimanjaro and Mont Blanc to her name.
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Joanna is also dedicated in her work for the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation, which is working in partnership with the MCC Foundation to fund, construct and manage the first dedicated cricket ground – not for profit – in Rwanda, providing increasing opportunities for thousands of disadvantaged young people returning from exile following the 1994 genocide.
But it is the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, the charity set-up by the history-making round the world yachtswoman to inspire young people’s confidence in recovery from cancer through sailing, that has Hancock’s support on her Round the Island debut.
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“All the girls I’m sailing with are like my sisters,” she said.
“We all have a great sense of adventure, and all of us have lost a parent or direct relation to cancer. Episodes like that give you a kick in the backside and you realise that life is short. Enjoy it and seize the moment.
“If you can help other people whilst working hard and having a great time then fab; that is something we can all give back.
“This is the second year we’ve ‘won’ Jeopardy in the auction. We didn’t do the race last year but were expecting a nice leisurely sail in the Solent with croissants and champagne. However we ended up in the middle of a gale! We were falling and clambering all over things, God bless Nick the skipper for telling us what to do. It was definitely an experience!”
The Round the Island’s ‘Race for All’ ethos is unique as enthusiastic amateurs race alongside big names from sailing, sport and entertainment, including America’s Cup hero and Britain’s most successful Olympic sailor, Sir Ben Ainslie, who will again take part in this year’s race.
The race starts at 6.30am on the famous Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes.
The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is again the official race charity for 2014. For every #raceforall tweet, J.P. Morgan will donate £1 to the Trust with the goal to raise at least £3,000.
Hancock’s next big Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation fundraiser is a celebrity cricket match at Wormsley Cricket Ground, Stokenchurch, featuring legendary batsmen Brian Lara and Andrew Strauss plus England Ashes-winning skipper, Clare Connor, playing against a Warwickshire 1990s XI on Sunday, September 14.
J.P. Morgan Asset Management has been title sponsor of the Round the Island Race for 10 years and is committed until 2016. For more information about the Round the Island Race visit www.roundtheisland.org.uk or follow @RoundTheIsland on Twitter.