All aboard to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis

PUBLISHED: 14:59 12 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:51 06 May 2010

The crew

The crew

AN AMATEUR yachtsman sailed 4,000 miles and spent five weeks at sea to raise money for charity. Patrick Harnett, of York Road, Hitchin, completed the Caribbean leg of the Clipper 05-06 round-the-world yacht race to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trus

AN AMATEUR yachtsman sailed 4,000 miles and spent five weeks at sea to raise money for charity.

Patrick Harnett, of York Road, Hitchin, completed the Caribbean leg of the Clipper 05-06 round-the-world yacht race to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

His eight-year-old grandson, Lee, has the disease and this prompted Patrick to take part in the world's biggest amateur boat race.

Patrick, 57, joined 14 other crew members aboard Cardiff - a 68ft boat - in Victoria, British Colombia, Canada and the team sailed from there to Panama.

The crew then navigated the Panama Canal, sailed to Colon and Patrick finally put his feet on firm ground in Jamaica.

He said: "It was a hell of an experience. We experienced the extremes of sailing but I was more exhausted than frightened.

"We did three hours on shift and three hours off. We were lucky to get two hours sleep at any one time."

Patrick only received four weeks training before the race.

He said: "It's an amateur boat race and the only professional is the skipper.

"Before this I had only ever been sailing in the Blue Lagoon in Arlesey.

"I have always enjoyed a little bit of sailing and it's not an opportunity that comes along all that often.

"It's good to think different, to think outside the box."

With the help of landlord Leo Wilson and landlady Victoria Kevans of The Victoria pub in Ickleford, Hitchin - who held an auction, raffle and placed collection pots on the bar - more than £2,500 was raised for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

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