Published: 08:00, 18 January 2016
A year after a crash left her with severe concussion, Medway’s golden girl skier is setting off on a new adventure, the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
Today Charlotte Evans, will be taking to the high seas in what is described as one the biggest challenges in the world.
The 24-year-old from Chatham flew to Australia on Wednesday where she will join the crew for the 7,000-mile leg of the voyage from the Whitsunday Islands to Qingadi, China via Da Nang, Vietnam.
She was forced to temporarily retire from her sport last year after suffering severe concussion while training and tweeted before her flight "who would of thought a year to the day, I would be going on a new adventure".
Charlotte will be at sea for nearly seven weeks – a remarkable feat considering when she started her gruelling training programme last August she had never sailed before and had a fear of water.
But she overcame her anxieties to complete all four levels of sailing qualifications. She said: "When I started I did not think I would make it at first and the last level was so hard.
“Skiiing has been my entire life for so long and I felt out of my comfort zone. But I have overcome this – after all, to represent my country in a completely different sport is amazing.”
She added: “I’m getting excited but nervous. I suppose it’s the feeling of not being in complete control. Also I have not met some of the crew, so I just hope we all get on well.”
Charlotte will be joined by Team GB Olympic silver medallist and badminton world champion Nathan Robertson and London 2012 rowing finalist, Bill Lucas.
She will will be at sea for five and half weeks before taking a week’s break. The final 12 days will hopefully see the team reaching the finishing line, where mum Siobhan and her auntie Georgia will be among the welcoming party.
The Clipper race was established in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston with the aim of enabling anyone, regardless of previous experience, to “embrace the thrill of ocean racing”.
Charlotte and her visually-impaired skiiing partner, Kelly Gallagher, from Northern Ireland, won gold in the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia.
The former Rochester Grammar School pupil, graduated last year after completing a three-year course in sport and exercise management at the University of Kent.
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