Uckfield crew in Round the Island yacht race

Two Uckfield sailors and members of their families will be battling the elements next month as they take part in the famous Round the Island race off the Isle of Wight.

Skipper Clive Wilding and Bob De’ath, with friend Nick Douthwaite from Berwick, near Alfriston, will be joined onboard the 42ft Phezulu by family members.

The race, which is on June 21, is the fourth most popular participant race in the UK behind the London Marathon and the Great North and Great South runs.

Round Island 1

Skipper Clive Wilding (second right), Bob De’ath (left) and other crew members

More than 1,700 yachts are expected to take part in the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island race.

Competitors start in the Solent at Cowes, head west to round the Needles before running along the south coast of the Isle of Wight before the race for the line.

The Phezulu, which is normally sailed from Brighton Marina Yacht Club, will be in the first wave of competitors to start as it is one of the larger, faster boats.

Clive, who works in the construction/property business, lives in Mill Drove, Uckfield.

St Philip’s Catholic Primary School

His wife, Angela, is a teacher at St Philip’s Catholic Primary School. They have three boys – who all played at Uckfield Rugby Club, and a daughter, Ellie, who took part in the Round the Island race when she was 12.

Bob, who lives in Bird in Eye Hill, is the managing director of an engineering consultancy at Forest Row which does much of its work in London area.

Uckfield town twinning

He is a member of the Uckfield Festival committee, town twinning group and the chamber of commerce.

He is married to Marie-Claude and has four children.

The crew will be raising money for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust – the charity set-up by the history-making round the world yachtswoman to inspire young people’s confidence in recovery from cancer through sailing.

Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust

Clive said: “We’ve always raised money for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust. We love Ellen’s passion for her charity.

“It’s a good organisation because while a lot of charities focus on the medical side, the Trust focuses on the recovery, which is so important but often overlooked.

“We know someone who lost their teenage son to lymphoma and all that touched us all.”

Clive and his crew do not consider themselves to be serious yacht racers but will be trying to set a “personal best” time in this year’s event.

A spokesman for the organisers said: “The Round the Island’s ‘Race for All’ ethos is unique as enthusiastic amateurs race alongside big names from sailing, sport and entertainment, including America’s Cup hero and Britain’s most successful Olympic sailor, Sir Ben Ainslie, who will again take part in this year’s race.”

How to support the crew’s charity bid

To support the team aboard Phezulu and their aim of raising money:

Visit Clive’s Just Giving page

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is again the official race charity for 2014.

For every #raceforall tweet, J.P. Morgan will donate £1 to the Trust.

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