The success of Sandy Macpherson’s Sail for a Cure last summer was just the beginning and now the County resident is making a splash as a member of the British Youth Plymouth Sailing Team which is competing in a 1,000 mile sprint around the Arabian Gulf against some of the best sailors in the world.
MacPherson, 19, raised more than $15,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society on a four-day solo fundraising sail about Lake Ontario last summer. He is now in his second year at Plymouth University where he is taking a BSc in Navigation and Maritime Science, advancing his sailing knowledge to a professional level.
“The best sailing conditions I have ever experienced in February,” Macpherson says. “Almost a year in preparation and myself, along with the rest of the Plymouth Sailing Team boys are finally ready for Sailing Arabia – The Tour.”
After 16 hours of travel, the team arrived in Bahrain. Their boat OMSF09 was the boat that won last year’s tour. Skippered by Marcel Herrera, 19, the team is made up of the University of Plymouth students who considered underdogs against other professional crews on the tour. The team goal is to finish in top five with a push for the podium.
Macpherson’s adventure on the water with Team Messe Frankfurt began with leg 1 starting in Bahrain, headed for Doha, Qatar.
Monday, his team finished in third place in a close race after the first leg of Sailing Arabia.
“Finishing 3rd was bittersweet,” said Sam Holliday, public relations for the team. “But finishing less than a boat length behind such a successful crew was a fantastic achievement in itself. We have proved we are out here to compete, not just soak up the sun although saying this, there was not a single sunburnt face at dinner tonight!”
Tuesday will be in-port racing at Doha, Qatar and Wednesday the teams will begin leg two to Abu Dhabi and boats are expected to arrive by Friday. The following week takes the team to Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, Dibba, Orman, Dibba Mussanah, Mussanah, Oman and leg six at Muscat, Oman.
Join the team on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PlymouthSailingTeam
You can track the race here (click the English button)
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