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David Greer

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I am racing around the World for Headway - the brain injury association because they helped us to survive brain injury

504 %
£2,523.00
raised of £500 target
by 77 supporters
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  • Event: Clipper 2017-18 Race, 27 Aug 2017 to 31 Jul 2018

Headway - the brain injury association

We provide UK-wide support and information to improve life after brain injury

Charity Registration No. 1025852

Story

Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.

My name is David Greer and I sustained a serious traumatic brain injury in June 2012.

Initially I was unable to walk, but with the support of: acute care, neuro rehabilitation, my family, Headway and a lot of personal courage and determination my recovery commenced.  I have in the past 5 and a half  years made a significant recovery.

Living with brain injury is never easy and I still face frustrations.  The biggest issue that I had to come to terms with was not being able to return to my role as a Chief Executive.  This initially left me feeling that I had no purpose in life.  After a period of personal reconciliation I decided to set myself the challenge of taking up road cycling with the aim of entering a sponsored cycle ride, not easy when my balance had not fully returned. But in August 2015 I successfully completed the Tour de Broads.

Several cycle rides later and I found myself looking for a new challenge, something that I need since sustaining a brain injury.

As a consequence I am now taking part in the "toughest endurance challenge on the planet"

The Clipper 17/18 Round the World Yacht Race.

This is a race between 12, 76 foot ocean racing yachts which will take around 11 months to complete.  The race set off from Liverpool on 20th August 2017 and returns to Liverpool on 28th July 2018. We will sail through the calmest and roughest waters of the world and through blistering heat and freezing conditions and everything in-between.  Our longest stretch at sea will be around 36 days, that's 36 days of 24/7 shifts. The race is made up of 13 races over 8 legs and over a course of 40,000 nautical miles. It includes participation in the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race commencing on Boxing Day.

My training prepared me as well as possible, with my land training sponsored by Rossis Leisure in North Walsham (many thanks) and my sailing training delivered by Clipper Ventures Plc.

I left my home, wife, children and families and my beloved dogs on 30th July to help to prepare my yacht in Gosport. On 9th August we sailed the fleet from Gosport to the race starting point in Liverpool.

My team is "PSP Logistics". It was skippered by ex RAF Weapons Mechanic Roy Taylor for the first two legs but Roy sadly resigned after leg 2. Our skipper for leg 3 and beyond is Matt Mitchell who skippered a boat in the race in 13/14 and from leg 3 and beyond in 15/16. I will deliver the role of lead Bosun amongst all of my other daily tasks on-board.

We were the second team to cross the line on leg 1 (Liverpool to Uruguay) but we were awarded 3rd place on the podium after the team that came in 11th was awarded 1st place following redress.  On leg 2 (Uruguay to Cape Town) we had a very close encounter with whale sustaining damage to the boat so we were forced to return to Uruguay for vital repairs. This resulted in us arriving in Cape Town a week after the rest of the fleet in 12th place, but we lived to tell the tale. We were awarded the social spirit award for leg 2.

We and another boat Sanya led leg 3 for some 24 days closely followed by Visit Seattle, 100 nautical miles clear of the rest of the fleet. Just days before reaching Fremantle we leaders hit a wind hole and hardly moved for over a day. Our frustration was increased when boats travelling further South continued to enjoy wind and moved ahead. We reached Fremantle in third place and also picked up 3 bonus points. Sadly leg 3, now classed as the toughest leg in the 20 year Clipper history, saw the loss of one of the boats and the loss of a fellow crew member from Team GB which was very sad.

I was reunited with my twin brother Alan for the first time in 18 years on arrival in Fremantle along with 10 other family members and enjoyed spending some time with them in between Clipper duties

Leg 4 which is made up of 3 races: race 4 Freemantle to Sydney, race 5 The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and race 6 Hobart to Airlie Beach bought us mixed results. Race 4 saw us pipped to a podium place in a frustrating but commendable 4th place. Race 5 presented us with a major wind hole in the closing day - having led from the outset we crossed the line in a disappointing 5th place. This was later relegated to 6th after a team helping with a man overboard was given redress. Undeterred we set out on race 6 with a positive attitude and we were rewarded with a hard earned 2nd place and our third podium position over 4 legs. 

On 29th January, after 6 months away from home, I started out  on my way home.  This will take another 6 months via Sanya (China), Qingdao (China), Seattle (USA), Panama, New York and Londonderry. I will arrive back in Liverpool on 28th July some 12 months after leaving my home and 11 and a half months after setting sail on the race of my life.

We have now completed leg 5 which took us from Airlie Beach to Sanya and then Sanya to Qingdao. All of our hard work was rewarded with first place in Sanya - we received a heroes welcome which was very touching.

We then went on to complete leg 6 Qingdao to Seattle - it was the toughest leg yet. Initially caught in wind holes the race took us 5 weeks to complete. The wind holes turned out the be "the calm before the storm"! We were hit by a rogue wave causing a deal of damage to the boat, sailed through freezing conditions and finally had to face out first hurricane with waves of over 100 foot. Our boat served us well and kept us safe and we finally arrived in Seattle very weary.

After 9 months away from home undertaking the most gruelling challenge my injured brain was telling me it was time for a rest. I therefore made the decision to leave the boat for leg 7 in order for my brain to recover. I will fly back to New York 19th June to re-join my crew mates for leg 8. In the mean time my team continues on the journey from Seattle to New York via the Panama Canal.

I hope to complete my missing leg 7 in the 19/20 race, health allowing.

I returned to my crew on The Mighty PSP for the final leg of my round the world challenge and I left New York on 25th June heading for Derry in my beloved Northern Ireland.  I am now preparing for the final race from Derry to Liverpool and will then be reunited with my family after a tough yet rewarding year

I would like to thank my family for all of their support in enabling me to realise my dream and to thank all of you for helping me raise funding for Headway.

My year ends on 28th July when I re-enter Liverpool for race finish

I would like to raise some funding for Headway (UK) in recognition of the help and support that Marie and I received after my brain injury. All funding raised through this page goes to Headway (UK), none of it is covering my personal costs of participating in the race.  Support post brain injury is critical as once the medical emergency is over it can be very difficult to find the specialist advice and support required to return to everyday life and to find a new normal for yourself and with those that you love.

Any amount that you can spare for this cause will be greatly appreciated

Details of The Clipper 17/18 Round the World Yacht Race can be found here

http://clipperroundtheworld.com/about/about-the-race

During the races you can view the team positions on race viewer, PSP is the red boat.

Thank you for listening and for any support that  you can offer, I will provide updates of my journey as it progresses

David


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