A 63-year-old Torquay man is preparing to brave the extreme weather of the Southern Ocean and the North Pacific to raise money for charity.
Peter Fisher, who lives in St Vincent's Road, will set sail on the adventure of a lifetime.
He’s taking an extended break from his job in the telecoms industry and has spent nearly £20,000 to take part in intensive sail training and two legs of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
Twelve yachts leave Liverpool on 20 August with their crews hoping to raise £400,000 for children’s charity Unicef. More than 600 sailors are taking part – either as “round the worlders” or “leggers”.
Peter, who works in Exeter for Openreach, the local network business which is part of BT Group, is a “legger” – taking part in 2 individual legs – and sets sail next March.
He says: “I’m going from Qingdao in North China across the North Pacific to Seattle in leg six of the Race, then joining leg seven from Seattle to New York through the Panama Canal – a total of around 11,100 nautical miles.
“I have some trepidation about tackling the North Pacific and the Southern Ocean. Sailing in those parts of the world is going to be challenging and tough. There will be snow, ice, big seas and 22 people having to sharing a 70 foot boat for weeks on end with no real personal space. There are no luxuries, like showers. It’s all quite basic.
“But it’s the realisation of a dream of a lifetime for me. I’ve always wanted to sail an ocean and this will undoubtedly be an amazing experience.”
Peter’s always had a love of the water. He’s gone from surfing to sailing and was a member of the BT Offshore Sailing Club in the Solent in the late 90's where he gained his first sailing qualifications.
He works at BT’s offices in Commercial Road, Exeter, controlling teams of Openreach engineers working across the South West on heavy cabling.
With his family now grown up, it’s his chance to realise his dreams.
“I’ll be 64 when I start the race,” he says. “It’s given me a bit of a spur. A lot of people my age start to wind down. I’ve had to get fit to go on this trip and I’m raising my game every week.”
Anybody wishing to support Peter’s efforts to raise funds for Unicef can do so by going to the following website: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/peter-fisher3
Openreach is Britain’s digital network business.
We’re 30,400 people who connect homes, mobile phone masts, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, broadcasters, governments and businesses - large and small - to the world.
Our mission is to build the best possible network, with the highest quality service, making sure that everyone in Britain can be connected.
We work on behalf of more than 580 communications providers like SKY, TalkTalk, Vodafone, and BT, and our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, passing more than 26.5 million premises.
We’re also the platform for Britain’s thriving digital economy, which is the largest in the G20. We’re working hard to give people the speeds they need to run and enjoy their daily lives. Over the last decade, we’ve invested more than £11 billion into our network and we now manage more than 158 million kilometres of cable stretching from Scotland to Cornwall, from Wales to the east coast.
And we’re continuing to take that network further - making superfast broadband speeds available to thousands more homes and businesses every week.
Openreach is a wholly owned and independently governed division of the BT Group, and it is a highly regulated business, with more than 90 per cent of our revenues generated from services that are regulated by Ofcom.
Any company can access our products under exactly the same prices, terms and conditions. For the year ended 31 March 2017, we reported revenues of £5.1bn.
For more information, visit openreach.co.uk