FOR most first time sailors, a trip around the world would be an unimaginable experience.
But not for novice Lesley Roberts , a 35-year-old from Clarkston, who is taking on the 40,000 mile challenge in memory of her mother Isla.
Isla Roberts died aged 74 in August 2007 after a battle with liver cancer, so Lesley has taken it upon herself to raise money and awareness of the important cause.
She has already raised more than £3,500 for Cancer Research UK and has just competed the second leg of her journey, from Madeira in Spain to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
The clipper 11-12 round the world yacht race began in Southampton in July and she, along with 20 other sailors are competing against nine other teams in a race which will continue until July 2012.
Speaking on her blog, which the former Williamwood high school pupil is updating weekly during her adventure, Miss Roberts said following her arrival in Rio: “I felt quite ill this morning, a combination of lack of sleep, desperate heat, lack of a balanced diet and sheer tiredness of being at 30 degrees finally tipped me over the edge”.
As national training and development manager for Mars who now works in England, Miss Roberts has been given a year-long sabbatical from work in order to complete the challenge and raise money for charity.
“I have always wanted to have the chance to do something adventurous,” said Miss Roberts, “I had never sailed before and I have only had four weeks of training but I am determined to finish the race no matter what.
“I hope to raise as much money as possible for a cause, which I am very passionate about, by the time I return home next year.
“Many people in my life, including my mother and aunt, have been affected by cancer, so I want to put this opportunity to good use”.
Her father Jim told The Extra: “I just want everybody to know what an amazing thing she is doing. I am extremely proud of her for taking on this challenge.
“The real reason she is doing this is to raise money to fight cancer and she has dedicated so much time and effort to the cause.
“For that I couldn’t be more proud”.
To follow Miss Roberts’ progress visit www.robertsroundtheworld.co.uk or to make a donation, go to www.justgiving.com/J-Lesley-Roberts.