Young Daventry sailor takes a trip of a lifetime

James Nicoll
James Nicoll

A young teenager recovering from cancer treatment has enjoyed an inspirational sailing trip on the Solent.

James Nicoll, 14, took part in a trip with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, along with 25 other young people aged eight to 18 in recovery from cancer.

James joined the crew of one of five yachts, to sail around the Solent on the south coast from August 3 to 6, in a four-day yacht adventure.

For James, who finished cancer treatment in March 2013 for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at Northampton General Hospital, this was his first time sailing with the trust.

He said: “We have sailed all the way to the Needles and back. I have really enjoyed the whole thing.”

The trust trips provide a chance for the young people to test themselves in a safe and supportive environment, encouraging them to work as a team and get involved in everything from helming the boat to cooking.

James said: “Spending time with other young people has been fine. I’ve learned more about sailing and will come back again.

“I would tell others to definitely come along and not be nervous because everyone looks after you.”

Departing from their south coast base in East Cowes Marina, Isle of Wight, on the Monday the trip navigated the waters of the Solent, which took them to various stop-overs including Yarmouth Harbour and the picturesque bay of Newtown Creek for a barbecue.

The young crew then put their new skills to the test cruising back into Cowes.

Launched in 2003, the aim of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is to give young people in recovery from cancer the chance to rebuild their confidence through sailing.

Dame Ellen, who tries to spend a day on as many trips as possible, said: “The mental and social fall-out from cancer can be just as devastating as the physical illness.

“Everything we do is 
about building confidence, self-esteem and having fun together.”

In its 12th year, the trust is a national charity that takes young people aged between eight and 24 who are recovering from cancer on four-day sailing trips.

For more details on the trust head to www.