PA prepares for gruelling yacht challenge

By Rob Virtue on November 7, 2012 5:27 PM |

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Forget the exotic image you may have of sailing - sitting in the sun on deck sipping a glass of Prosecco, watching the dolphins dive.

PA from Poplar Michelle Porter knows the real horror story as she ramps up her training for the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race.

The 35-year-old is one of 600 people taking part in the mammoth event after being chosen from 10,000 applicants.

And she's just returned from stage two of the training - nine days at sea off the south coast of England.

"The weather was pretty vile," said Michelle. "Cold and very wet. Putting on wet clothes shift after shift. We did three hours on and three hours off but on one day did a 8.30am to 10pm shift with crews constantly putting sails up and down.

"The weather was terrible and most of the crew were sick. I felt sick about six out of the nine days. There's certainly nothing glamorous about the clipper race."

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The gruelling year-long challenge sees teams do battle in 70ft yachts over a 40,000 mile circumnavigation of the world, in conditions that range from tropical heat to winter storms. As well as the stints on the sea, Michelle trains daily at Corinthia Hotel in Whitehall with the health club's personal trainers.

Meanwhile, Michelle is continuing to raise the £43,000 needed to pay for the event, which will begin in July next year.

"I've got enough to go halfway round the world now and have also raised £5,000 to the Alzheimer's Society, which is dear to me as my grandfather had it," she said.

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