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Medway Paralympic gold winner to swap slopes for ocean waves in Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race

She is better known flying down a ski slope at a rate of knots, but now Medway’s greatest skier Charlotte Evans is heading for the high seas.

The Paralympic gold medallist is about to embark on a new adventure – the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race.

It is described as one of the biggest challenges of the natural world and an endurance test like no other.

Charlotte Evans from Chatham
Charlotte Evans from Chatham

And the 24-year-old, from Chatham, admits to being terrified as she had never sailed before starting her training and has a fear of water.

Yet she has pledged to take part in Leg 5,which starts in the Whitsundays, Australia, and races 6,985 miles to Qingdao, China, via Da Nang, Vietnam.

Since recently graduating from the University of Kent after completing a three-year course in sport and exercise management, Charlotte has taken up the epic challenge in earnest.

She said: “Ski-ing has been my entire life for so long now and I have always been in a position where I’ve been comfortable.

“I was totally out of my comfort zone at first during the training, but I have found a challenge and realised I can overcome it ,which is amazing.

Charlotte was guide to visually-impaired skier Kelly Gallagher
Charlotte was guide to visually-impaired skier Kelly Gallagher

“To represent my country in a completely different sport will be incredible. When I think about getting on the Clipper Race, I become really competitive. I’m one of those people that just wants to win.”

She will be joined in the crew by Team GB Olympic silver medallist and badminton world champion Nathan Robertson and London 2012 rowing finalist Bill Lucas.

The Clipper was established in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston with the aim of allowing anyone, regardless of previous experience, to “embrace the thrill of ocean racing”.

Charlotte and her visually-impaired ski-ing partner Kelly Gallagher, from Northern Ireland, won gold in the Winter Paralympics Games in Sochi in March last year.

Charlotte and paralympic skier Kelly Gallagher
Charlotte and paralympic skier Kelly Gallagher

Since then she has notched a string accolades, including being made an MBE for her services to Paralympic sport, a nomination for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year and an honorary degree from Queen’s University, Belfast.

But she has been forced to take a break this year, missing out on the IPC Alpine Ski-ing Championships in Canada, after suffering concussion while training.

The former Rochester Grammar and MidKent College student was introduced to the slopes at a young age at Chatham Ski Centre.

She lives with her family, including younger sister Emily, 20, in Maidstone Road.

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