I am sailing
Wyke College student Sam Willis is to swap the tranquil shores of the Humber for some of the most ferocious seas on the planet
Sam met his hero Ellen McArthur at the London Boat Show recently. She also learned the ropes on the Humber before becoming the fastest female and youngest sailor to race around the world solo non-stop.
Despite being a year too young, teenager Sam Willis has been offered a berth in a round-the-world yacht race. But he needs to raise £30,000
Seventeen-year-old Wyke College student Sam Willis won't be hanging around in his gap year between 'A' levels and starting university.
Come September, he hopes to be setting sail on a 35,000-mile voyage across the world's roughest oceans.
Lasting 10 months, the trip takes in Brazil, South Africa, Western Australia, Singapore, the west coast of America, the Panama Canal, the Caribbean, and New York.
But there's just one snag.
He needs to raise £30,000 to pay for food, clothing, training and other costs during the Clipper 07/08 race.
"I need individuals, organisations and companies to sponsor me and help me reach my target'" says Sam (17), of Bricknell Avenue, west Hull who has already managed to raise £10,000 with help mainly from his family.
"You have to be 18, but the organisers have accepted me because of my sailing experience.
"If I make the competition I'll be the youngest ever to take part, and I've been told this will increase my chances of publicity in the media before, during and after the event.
"On the back of this publicity, I'll be able to promote my sponsors and advertise them across the world."
That's the same view taken by regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, which is sponsoring the boat on which Sam is sailing in the race.
Called the "Yorkshire Forward Hull and Humber Clipper'" the yacht's name alone will promote the Hull and Humber region throughout the places visited in the race.
Meanwhile, the farthest Sam has ever sailed is to Holland.
But he's confident in his experience gained during more than seven years of sailing, mostly with Hull's Fastack Sailing School, based on Hull Marina.
Any individuals or organisations wishing to sponsor Sam can contact him at www.samwillis.net
For more information about the race, visit www.hullhumberclipper.com *
Hull College students at sea
Meanwhile, Lee Rose (18) of north Hull and Sarah Axon (19) from Sproatley are hoping to compete in one leg of the race after winning a sponsorship competition at Hull College.
The college is sending them on a Clipper training programme in Falmouth where one will be selected to join the crew of the Yorkshire Forward Hull and Humber Clipper vessel.
The sponsorship competition asked students to write a 500-1000 word outline of why they would be suitable for the race.