THIS Barnsley lass climbed Mount Kilimanjaro several months ago, but now she's getting ready to sail from China to the USA!

Laura, 23, has been selected to take part in the gruelling 'Clipper Round the World' race and will be sailing across the Pacific.

At the beginning of March she will be one of a 20-strong crew who set sail from Qingdao and sail 5,800 nautical miles to San Francisco.

She cheerfully admits life aboard the 72-feet long sailing ship will be hard.

The crew adopts a constant four hours on fours hours off rota, there are no baths or showers on board, sometimes they have to climb a 90-feet-high mast as the yacht leans and sways, and keeping dry is impossible.

However Laura, who is an officer in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, says the more challenging and physically uncomfortable the adventure will be, the more she will thrive on it.


She discovered her love of the sea and sailing after joining Barnsley sea cadets as a 14-year-old.

A teacher at school had casually mentioned the cadets and Laura decided to pop along to their base in Racecommon Road to see what it was all about.

That decision not only led to a hobby, but her job.

"It will be hard, exhausting and impossible to stay dry, but I can't wait to get started," she said.

Laura, of Greenset View, Athersley, is no stranger to tackling a challenge. She recently flew to Africa to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and in doing so raised £4,337 for Breast Cancer Care.

She has decided to fund the cost of taking part in the clipper round the word race herself because, after the generosity of sponsors for her Kilimanjaro adventure, she didn't want to ask for sponsorship again.