Sailor Heather Broadbent is making a detour on her epic voyage around the globe because of the Coronavirus in China.
The outbreak has forced organisers of the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race to change the route for the 11-strong fleet.
Heather, who is aiming to raise £40,000 for the Hospice, is due to arrive in the Philippines before the weekend (Feb 15-16) on the Asia-Pacific leg of her adventure.
The fleet had intended to stop there later in the race but the visit has now been brought forward.
It is unclear whether the original destination of Sanya, a port in China, will now feature on the route.
The fleet will have an extended minimum nine-day stopover in the Philippines as organisers work on contingency plans if the route needs further amending.
Heather, a landscape gardener from Disley, is midway through her 11-month trip on board the yacht GoToBermuda and has been at sea since leaving Australia early last month.
Heather wrote in an email: “I’ve been heartbroken to hear the devastating news of the virus spreading across China with many thousands of people affected.
“This has obviously had an impact on our destinations and the Clipper Race office have been working hard to find an alternative port for us to re-stock and re-charge before we set sail across the Pacific to Seattle.
“Life on board is good after we crossed the Equator for my second time and in the close confines of a 70-foot sailing boat strong friendships are soon forged. ”
Heather’s late husband Adam (45) was a patient at the Hospice and she has already raised £25,330 towards her target. The funds will support our
Hospice @Home service. To sponsor her visit justgiving.com/fundraising/dreamitnowdoit
Heather added: “I’m lucky to have met some incredible people who I now count as lifelong friends. I’ve visited places I’ll always remember and Cape Town and Freemantle in Australia are both highlights.
“Yesterday I saw a pod of about 10 whales blowing hard and splashing their tails, seeming to be herding huge schools of leaping tuna, apparently just for the sheer sport because whales don’t eat tuna.”Back to all news