Oceans of Hope yacht arrives in New York City in unique global voyage to change perceptions of multiple sclerosis
Oceans of Hope, the 67-foot yacht undertaking the first circumnavigation with a working crew of people with multiple sclerosis (MS), has arrived in New York City, USA, on the latest leg of the 33,000-nautical mile global voyage.
During the six-day stopover Oceans of Hope will be berthed at North Cove Marina, in lower Manhattan and people with MS will be invited to take part in two days of sailing on the 14th and 15th of November. Further information can be found at sailingsclerosis.com.
Oceans of Hope is the flagship vessel of a campaign by the same name which aims to change perceptions of MS during the course of its 17-month global journey, encouraging participation in sailing as the yacht makes its way around the world. It is a project of the Sailing Sclerosis Foundation which was founded by Danish doctor and psychotherapist, Mikkel Anthonisen who also skippered the Oceans of Hope into New York harbor this morning at 11:00 a.m. local time.
“There is something incredible about sailing into New York harbor,” said Mikkel. “The iconic landmarks make us all humbled and feeling very fortunate to have this opportunity. The outstanding crew have shown their strength and the power of working as a team to accomplish great things.”
American crew members, Cara Lauer of Seattle, Washington and Christina Lamb Sidell of Burlington, Vermont, were both hands-on as Oceans of Hope sailed beside the statuesque Lady Liberty this morning. The sun broke through the cloudy sky just in time to escort the Oceans of Hope crew to Manhattan Island.
Diagnosed with MS in 2010, Christina says, “I am so excited to be part of this amazing experience that shows the world that people with MS can do anything they put their minds to.”
Cara added, “I have enjoyed sailing for years, even before I was diagnosed with MS in 2010. I feel the experience so far aboard Oceans of Hope has challenged me in new ways. There really is something empowering about leaving my MS diagnosis on the dock and taking off to work as a team where we all need to consider and respect the capabilities of each other.”
The Oceans of Hope project aims to educate, inspire and motivate those living with MS. Instead of accepting a diagnosis and feeling paralyzed in life, the experience of sailing is intended to open new doors of opportunity and challenge the feeling of a life-sentence that often comes when one is faced with the challenges of MS.
Oceans of Hope’s voyage began in Copenhagen, Denmark, on June 15, 2014 and has made stopovers in numerous port cities in Europe, crossed the North Atlantic and was a centerpiece at the MS2014 ACTRIMS/ECTRIMS Conference hosted in Boston, Massachusetts, where the yacht and crew were presented to the 9,000 international attendees. On November 16 the Oceans of Hope will set sail for a stopover in Fort Lauderdale in early December and then onwards through the Panama Canal and crossing the Pacific Ocean for visits to New Zealand, Australia and Asia. This ground-breaking circumnavigation will end in Barcelona during October of 2015 where the yacht and crew will attend the MS2015 ACTRIMS/ECTRIMS global conference.
People with MS from all over the world are participating as crew on each leg of the voyage and places are still available on board throughout the journey. To find out more and apply to take part, those living with MS may download the application forms at sailingsclerosis.com.
Biogen Idec is the Official Partner of Oceans of Hope. Through cutting-edge science and medicine Biogen Idec discovers, develops and delivers to patients worldwide innovative therapies for the treatment of MS. Founded in 1978, Biogen Idec is the world’s oldest independent biotechnology company.
Oceans of Hope will set sail from North Cove Marina, New York, at midday local time on Sunday, November 16, 2014 and is due to arrive at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at midday on Wednesday, December 3.