An investment banker is celebrating his 50th birthday year by taking part in a global yacht race.
Angus Kirk is about to set sail on a challenge of a lifetime on the world-famous Clipper Round The World sailing event, despite having absolutely no experience of on the water.
Angus, who turned 50 this month, leaves Edinburgh on September 27 and flies to Uruguay before sailing to Cape Town and then onto Freemantle where he will complete two legs of the arduous race, covering a mammoth 8500 nautical miles.
The managing director of Stockbridge-based, Bridge Investments in the capital will be at sea for two months.
The expedition would be a challenge for an accomplished sailor, but for someone with no sailing experience at all, it is a truly colossal adventure into the unkown.
Angus who lives in Kirkliston with wife Shadi and their sons is embarking on this life changing challenge in aid of local Edinburgh charity It’s Good 2 Give.
He said: “I was approaching my 50th year and I wanted to do something truly transformational in my life and combine this with trying to raise as much money as I could for a really worthwhile cause.
“I had been touched by the great work that Lynne McNicoll and her team does at the charity, especially in making the Ripple Retreat a reality.”
“I have mixed emotions as I approach this epic adventure. I have feelings of excitement and absolute terror!
“However, my biggest emotion is how much I am going to miss my wife Shadi and my boys Oliver, Jasper, Brodie and Spencer.”
It’s Good 2 Give was founded in 2010 and supports children and young people with cancer and their families in practical ways.
The charity’s goal to open a facility – the Ripple Retreat at Invertrossachs, Callander – for young cancer patients and families was realised in May this year.
The stunning retreat set among some of Scotland’s best scenery allows families to use it for a short break together in a purpose-built, restful and safe place. Any young Scottish cancer patient who is in treatment or up to one year after active treatment, or bereaved families who have lost a child to cancer are eligible to use the retreat.
Co-founder Lynne McNicoll OBE said: “We are super impressed at Angus’ challenge and his drive and determination to complete it. “His support means a great deal to us and every penny he raises will go towards our stunning Ripple Retreat – we opened it in May and already seven families have enjoyed a short break there.
“All who have stayed have remarked on the memories they have made in a short stay. We wish Angus well in his endeavours and hope he enjoys the memories he will make.”
Angus is trying to raise £85,000 through £10 for every nautical mile he sails and sponsorship can be pledged at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AngusKirk.
Clipper race details
The Clipper Race is one of the biggest challenges in the natural world and is an endurance for all competitors.
With no previous sailing experience necessary, it’s a record-breaking 40,000 nautical mile race around the globe on a 70-foot ocean racing yacht.
The race is the brainchild of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world and is now on its eleventh edition.
Divided into eight legs and 13 to 16 individual races, participants can choose to complete the full circumnavigation or select individual legs.
It is the only race in the world where the organisers supply a fleet of 12 identical racing yachts, each with a fully qualified skipper to safely guide the crew.
The supreme challenge is taken on by ordinary, everyday people. Having completed a rigorous training course, participants are suited and booted in the latest extreme protection gear to commence the race of their lives - an unparalleled challenge where taxi drivers rub shoulders with chief executives, vicars mix with housewives, students work alongside bankers and engineers team up with rugby players.
The sea does not distinguish between Olympians or novices and there is nowhere to hide - if Mother Nature throws down the gauntlet, you must be ready to face the same challenges as the pro racer.
Participants navigate the Doldrums en route to South America, endure epic Southern Ocean storms, experience South African sunsets, face the mountainous seas of the North Pacific and bond with an international crew creating lifelong memories before returning victorious.
Applications are now open for the 2019-20 edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. For more information visit www.clipperroundtheworld.com.