A WOMAN from Wrexham is competing in the world's largest ocean race in memory of her husband, who planned to sail around the world with her, but sadly died of cancer.

Amanda Shehab, 56, is taking  on the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race Alongside daughter Megan Allpress, 26. 

The world’s largest ocean race is already under way as competitors set sail on a 46,000-mile journey which will take almost a year to complete.

One of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet, the race features over 700 people representing 55 nationalities sailing on a fleet of 70ft racing yachts.

Competitots departed from Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, on Sunday (September 3) ready to tackle freezing temperatures and 40-foot waves as well as the blistering heat of the tropics.

Amanda and Megan - the race's first ever mother-daughter duo - are taking part in memory of their husband/father Ali who sadly died of cancer aged 51.


Ms Shehab said it was “fitting” that they were setting sail almost exactly two years to the day of his death.

"I want to think of it as a positive, happy thing," she said.

“We went and saw the clipper race in 2018 in Liverpool. I said to him, ‘shall we do it?’ We then thought we want to sail around the world so we bought our own boat and we were going to do it that way but sadly then he got a brain tumour and he didn’t make it.

“I thought after he’s gone I’ll disintegrate, I don’t know what I’ll do, but then I thought of clipper and I thought, right, I’ll do that.

“I signed up almost immediately after he’d gone.

“We’re so lucky to be able to do this together.”

When Ms Allpress heard her mother had signed up for the challenge, she decided to quit her job as an engineer and join her.

She said: “I just thought, ‘life is short – if you want to do something, do it’.”

The Leader:

The Clipper Race was founded by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo and non-stop around the world in 1968.

The fleet is currently racing 1,200 nautical miles to Puerto Sherry, Spain, a brand new destination on the Clipper Race circuit, ahead of crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Punta del Este, Uruguay.

The race will also stop at locations including Cape Town, South Africa, Fremantle, Newcastle and Airlie Beach, Australia, Halong Bay, Vietnam, Qingdao and Zhuhai, China, Seattle and Washington DC, before returning to Portsmouth at the end of July, 2024, via Oban, Scotland.

According to the race organisers, 22% of competitors had never sailed before signing up to the challenge, which required them to take part in four intensive stages of training.