A HAMPSHIRE sailor who beat breast cancer is now celebrating another victory - after coming first in a gruelling single-handed challenge.

Veteran solo sailor Mary Falk took the top spot in the Zurich Solo Week, writes WILL CARSON.

That successfully rounded off a three-year challenge that has seen her raise more than £83,000 for charity.

The 62-year-old from Lymington was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005.

But determined not to let it affect her life and her beloved sailing, she embarked on the QII challenge - named after her boat QII -to raise £100,000 for charity.

Mary has entered three Petit Bateau singlehanded races as part of her challenge, and after scoring second places in 2006 and 2007, she is now celebarting after winning her class.

She said: "I am thrilled to have done so well in the competition - to have come first in the final race of my hat-trick has been the icing on the cake.

"I was determined not to let cancer beat me and the QII challenge just goes to show what you can do.

"During my treatment I had chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and I celebrated my lowest moment afterwards by going for a sail in QII.

Feels great "That made me realise that I could still go out and compete."

All of the money raised will be donated to the Institute of Cancer Research.

Mary added: "It feels great to prove that there is life after cancer.

"And, by raising money for The Institute of Cancer Research, I am doing something to ensure that others affected by this disease will benefit from its life-saving work."

To support Mary, you can donate on line by visiting www.justgiving.com/maryfalk