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Lord Nelson tall ship leaves Southampton for historic round-the-world voyage
THEY are off and running. A crew of able-bodied and disabled sailors set sail from Southampton this morning, ahead of an epic journey around the world.
A team of 32 intrepid sailors left Southampton Docks on board the Jubilee Sailing Trust's tall ship, Lord Nelson, to mark the start of their 50,000-mile circumnavigation of the globe.
Cheered on by around 200 friends and family, the crew of mixed seamen, including two wheelchair users, were escorted down Southampton Water by a flotilla of other vessels, including a water cannon.
The mammoth journey, named the Norton Rose Sail the World Challenge, will see the sailors visit more than 30 countries in seven continents.
It will be completed in a series of ten main ocean passages, with the first team set to reach the Brazilain capital, Rio de Janeiro, on December 12.
They will carry with them a Paralympic torch, donated by torch bearer, Jon Kurleigh, on their way to Rio - the host of the next Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The 55m Lord Nelson, which is the world's first disability-friendly tall ship, is set to arrive back in Southampton on September 20, 2014.