A staff member at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) is embarking on the challenge of a lifetime taking part in the final leg of the Round the World Clipper Yacht Race in aid of the Boudicca Breast Cancer Appeal.
Daniel Cox, a project management officer within the Surgical Division, will take part in the coveted final leg of the race from New York to Liverpool in June 2020 a journey expected to take more than 22 days at sea.
If that wasn’t enough of a challenge, Daniel is also taking part in the Brighton Marathon in April this year – his first marathon and just one year after taking up running with the NNUH Couch to 5k running club.
Daniel said: “I am coming up to my 50th birthday and I wanted to mark it with a couple of challenges.
“I grew up in Greenwich which is on the route of the London Marathon and also home to all the maritime heritage so it seemed the perfect challenge – I’ve always had an interest in sailing and done it occasionally and I thoughts let’s do something mad.
“I signed up for the Clipper Race first of all and thought I needed something to drive me and inspire me and am now well into the training programme for the Brighton Marathon.”
The Clipper Race is the only race of its kind where people with no experience of sailing can take part in the challenge which takes in six oceans and 40,000 nautical miles over eight legs.
Although Daniel’s leg of the Clipper Race is more than a year away, the full race starts in July this year and his training has already started in Portsmouth where the Clipper is based.
He said: “It is one of the most challenging things I have ever done. It consists of finding your way around a 70ft racing boat, learning about the different sails and ropes, how to handle the boat and life on board.
“Once at sea, we will work on a shift system of four hours sleep and four hours sailing and sail through the night. There could be up to 20 people on the boat so we are hot bunking – once you’re up someone else is in your bed
“They say even the most experienced sailors can get sea sick but, touch wood, I have not had a problem yet.
“The biggest challenge is not the sailing, because you can learn to sail, but being part of a team and learning to live together for long periods of time at sea.”
Daniel’s family have been very supportive through the mental and physical demands of the training and are 100% behind him as he also raises money for the N&N Hospitals Charity Boudicca Breast Cancer Appeal.
The appeal aims to raise £800,000 to provide a dedicated one-stop-shop breast cancer service where patients will receive diagnostic tests and clinical and imaging assessments on one day.
Daniel said: “I’ve worked at the Trust for two years and it’s a fantastic place to work filled with brilliant people doing amazing things and as part of that I thought what can I do to support it.
“When it comes to cancer, as with so many people, many of my friends and family have been affected by cancer and the Boudicca Appeal was a great opportunity to raise awareness and support this fantastic cause.”
You can support Daniel via his JustGiving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/danielcox2020
For more information about the Boudicca appeal, go to https://nnuhcharity.org.uk/about-us/latest-campaigns-and-appeals/the-boudicca-appeal/