Søren Rønn Willesen
Søren, a retired priest and father of five, will be part of the crew on board Oceans of Hope all the way from Copenhagen to Lisbon. He lives in Odsherred, West Sealand in the Danish countryside, and has been living with multiple sclerosis for about 15 years.
“In my heart, I have always been a sailor – being a member of the Oceans of Hope crew gives me the chance to realise it. For the past year, I have been driving about 200 kilometres once a week to sail at the Royal Danish Yacht Club.
“I don’t look for challenges as such. It’s more that when I’m at sea something happens to me, it’s like reaching out and touching infinity. The world becomes less complicated. Being on a boat is to me a very simple world – in a very complex world.
“When we’re out there sailing, I don’t think: ‘I’m going to help somebody.’ I don’t look at people and think: ‘He or she needs help, I can assist.’ It’s more like I see that he or she is not capable of pulling that rope or whatever and then I’ll take part in the job. I don’t consider it ‘help’. We’re one group on the boat.
“It has been a dream of mine since high school to go to sea from when I read a book by Troels Kløvedal (Love, Spring Water, and the Blue Blue Ocean) – I am so lucky to be able to make that dream come true this summer.”