Do talk to strangers

Occasionally in life you meet someone who changes your life completely. My husband Mike for instance. He was only visiting the UK from South Africa when we met. He ended up staying, marrying me and having two beautiful daughters, Jess and Emily.

Chrissie Jackson has also undoubtedly changed my life. I met Chrissie in the Albert Docks, Liverpool. It was the day before the start of the 2017-18 Clipper Race. We got chatting and she told me she’d never sailed big boats before signing up for the race. Having completed the intensive Clipper Race training, she was planning to complete part of the race.

Chrissie on board Visit Seattle

After only a couple of months of following her team and reading the blogs on the Clipper website, I felt so inspired I applied for the 2019-20 race. The rest, as they say, is history.

Arriving into port

It was a delight to follow Chrissie on her Clipper adventure. Her blogs were honest yet still full of joy. Unfortunately, just before she was due to sail across the Pacific, she was taken ill with a blood clot and hospitalised in China. This marked the end to Chrissie’s race.

Despite this we met again in Liverpool, this time at the end of the race. Her pure spirit and vivacity shone through as she celebrated the triumph of her team, Visit Seattle, who claimed 2nd place overall.

Race finish, Liverpool, July 2018

20 months after my Clipper journey first began, Chrissie continues to inspire me. In January 2019 she was told the devastating news that she has stage 4 metastatic cancer.

In true Chrissie style and with a big smile on her face, she has begun Chrissie’s Sunshine Appeal. Her aim is to raise as much money as possible for charities and good causes close to her heart, in and around Cornwall – as well as persisting to find and spread as much sunshine as she can. 

“Hold your face to the sun and let the shadows fall behind you”

It is undeniable that Chrissie has already spread so much light and positivity, but I would like to thank her personally. She inspired me to pursue a dream, to adapt to difficult situations with determination, and to spread joy despite hardship. I look forward to sailing with her in the future.

Thank you Chrissie.

Chrissie sadly died in July 2021 and is sorely missed by everybody who knew her. Chrissie’s Sunshine Appeal has raised over £60,000. I will be thinking of her as I race across the Atlantic.

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1 Comment
  • dave Apr 27,2019 at 09:15

    I’m doing 2019-20 too.

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