You will ascertain on the forefront that I am a very positive person living with a long term health condition and living life to the max. I choose to do this and whilst I can...I do not know what is around the corner...and know anything I would like to do..I need to try and do it now. I do have issues 'post' transplant and again I tend not to moan or talk about any of this. Sometimes....if I'm honest I put on a front and just decide to get on with things as opposed to being anything other than happy and smiley. I have wanted to write my autobiography for many years, and I am now in the of process of writing my life-story. This will be my outlet for the truth and nothing but the whole truth....it is a painful and raw process for me. Until then.....watch this space.....
A happy buzzy go get getter that I am and blocking out anything else, so, bearing that in mind I am now involved with the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race that started in July this year. I have needed to go through various sailing training levels (also detailed in my blog) and achieved new sailing RYA qualifications. My role is as a Transplant Ambassador to raise awareness on Organ Donation whilst sailing around part of the world next year.
So.......now about the race start weekend....
Clipper Clipper Clipper....go go go!! Branded, named, tagged, wrist banded for confirmation I AM part of Clipper and have VIP access to the pontoons.
Ready steady lets Race!!!!
After all my training, reality said July 31st 2011 the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race WAS starting, and I definitely wanted to be here to support this. To all the new friends that I have made and to my team Edinburgh Inspiring Capital (EIC). So much buzz all weekend with thousands of people and a lot of media frenzy cameras, film crews, and click click of peoples' phones capturing the moment.
I cannot avoid a photo moment like this and a chance for a thumbs up pose with my new friends from the race start ;)
Oops...however, I am racing ahead of myself...as I actually arrived the night before for the whole weekend ready for 31st, and found myself hanging out the 'Welcome to Yorkshire' (WtY) team. I have made many good friends and Wend (in the photo below thumbs up - definitely one of them). Nevermind Thelma and Louise, its now modernised by Wend and Jussie ;)
The WtY yacht is bright pink and I guess I fitted in with my hair for the night (so mentioned by their skipper, named Rupert)
Also with Sharon in this photo and the 'token' pink sunglasses that cost £1.00 with a shot of some kind of snapps. I just borrowed a pair of sunglasses for this photo and swiftly handed them back to their rightful new owner. (and didn't have a snapps either ;)
And here I am with Chris who I did one of my levels with and his lovely wife, Charis who took this piccie.
Ok.....another 'non' Yorkshire crew member here, with the sweet Joy or Joyful as she is called. I met Joyful staying in a local guesthouse and had many banters over breakfast.
That evening (Friday) followed by all of us going to a party arranged by Clipper in a venue with a band and to meet everyone else. It was great to meet other team crews and some with their family/friends who came along for the weekend. A long day and night and now time for me to get some sleep ready for the fun on Saturday.
And here I am displaying our yacht with pride! Ta - daa!!
Hey check out these kilts....not legs ;) I will also be wearing the same when I get to join my leg next year and wear for promotional/media purposes nearer the time. In the meanwhile...my 'lung' T-shirt got an airing and another chance to raise the profile on organ donation.
Here are some of us Edinburgh girls facing my camera - left to right, me, Holly, Niamh, and Anne.
And another group shot of some of the 'girls' left to right:- Sue, Anne, Holly, me, Catherine, Sarah, TT, then Karen and Lesley (front row).
Capturing the moment with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Edinburgh representatives and some of the EIC crew about to embark on leg 1.
I like this photo and for no other other reason added it into my blog ;)
And here is Sir Robin Knox-Johnston again proudly speaking for our naming ceremony of our yacht.
All the yachts lined up......not for too much longer.......
After a busy afternoon, I decided to take some 'me' time and go for a walk in Southampton city centre and have a little rest. The evening was a meal out with my some of the team crew, and I must have eaten for 2 people (well it felt that way). An amazing restaurant, great food and fab to chat away with my new friends.....and wishing well for those starting the race on Sunday. We tried to hurry up the meal as 10pm was fast approaching and Clipper were arranging fireworks!
Yes....this man really is this tall (with stilts)....
And team members of EIC strutting their funky stuff in their kilts ;)
Barry and Nick
Here with Lesley
The main stage surrounded by thousands of people in the crowds, where bands performed and later each yacht with their teams/skipper made a stage debut.
And if any doubt.....fancy being a tin of sardines??...no room to move, the crowds so deep!!
Then occasionally the main screen would switch and show the crowds...Woo!! Such an electric atmosphere really hard to describe, but, hopefully my photos depict what I felt/saw and the ambience of the day.
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston
And the EIC crew making their mark on the stage
Deep breath in and stretch....some random chick doing some kinda yoga exercise and making use of the space around her ;)
Seeing all the yachts depart...meant also a swift move for me and some friends to make our way onto a boat to then go out to sea and watch the yachts get to their starting point. To watch some of the race before returning back to emptiness..and no people...no buzz.......the warmth now cold as all the activity now at sea!
Now follows some more photos with a brief description of the duration at sea.
All boats, yachts were to stay behind the HMS Illustrious pictured in the photo below, large enough for everyone to see! Amazing to be watching the activity start....
Peering my head over to try and get a shot of all the yachts in the distance.
Woohoo got a couple close ups of two yachts neck and neck
And here is EIC getting going :)
Caught in a breeze with Catherine and Sarah
Hows that for close up action, Derry-Londonderry sailing past the spectator boat that I was on.
In the captain's quarter below, and with Adam Tuffnell who organised one of the spectator boats for the race start. I simply went to say hello and next thing I knew, my voice was being aired and questions asked about my leg/my transplant for all to hear. As I left the area and returned on deck ........ an applause by all....wow.
Clipper's photos at sea are fantastic and capture the whole scene together...if only I was in a helicopter taking the photos ;)
Dear Justine Laymond,
Congratulations! As you know, Barry Laymond nominated you to be a London 2012 Olympic Torchbearer through our ‘Moment to shine’ campaign.We are delighted to let you know that you have made it through to the next stage of the process. The nomination provided will be reviewed by one of our 12 regional selection panels. They will be looking for 2,012 individuals with the most inspirational stories of personal achievement and/or contribution to the local community.If successful, you will be offered a place as one of the 8,000 Torchbearers needed in total for the Olympic Torch Relay, joining those chosen through our Presenting Partners' public nomination campaigns.