Island journey for sailor Mick
A SAILOR is making an emotional journey in his brother-in-law’s yacht to raise cash for a stroke charity.
Mick Struebel will command his brother-in-law, Robert’s, Waarschip 600 yacht in the JP Morgan Round the Island Race, which begins in Cowes next month and sees 16,000 participants sail round the Isle of Wight.
Robert suffered a stroke following intestinal surgery last summer and Robert’s mum – Mick’s mother-in-law – passed away following a stroke in February. The events of the last 12 months have inspired Mick to raise cash for the Stroke Association.
“Robert and his wife Ellyn used to sail Paasaat on the ?sselmeer lake at their home in the central Netherlands, but after Robert was taken ill Ellyn said she wanted myself and my wife Anne to have the boat on the condition that we could never sell her and she always remained in the family,” said Mick.
“I already knew I wanted to do the Round the Island Race again but the weekend we went to Holland to pick the boat up was the weekend that Anne and Robert’s mother passed away suddenly so it will be an especially poignant race for the whole family this year.”
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Mick made his Round the Island debut last year as a crewman on the Spirit of Ipswich, having only taken up sailing as a hobby two-and-a-half years ago as a New Year’s Resolution.
And having already accrued some serious sea miles in that time thanks to completing a number of weeklong boat delivery trips in Greece for a sailing holidays company, he is looking forward to taking the Paassat helm on the Cowes start line.
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He will be joined aboard the Paasaat by his eldest son Tom, while Mick’s father-in-law Gerard will be joining the family in Cowes from his home in the Netherlands.
Mick added: “Once I’d got into sailing I wanted to do something different and having read about the race it really appealed. However until you experience for yourself seeing all those boats and being part of the spectacle you cannot get an idea what it is really like. It is just phenomenal.”
Legendary round-the-world Yachtswoman Dame Ellen McArthur will be firing the starting canon at the race, on June 19. For more information visit www.roundtheisland.org.uk.