A HAMPSHIRE man is about to set off on gruelling yacht race around the world to help raise money for charity.

John Vearncombe will take to the seas in the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race.

Mr Vearncombe,53, who is a stepfather-of-two from Swanmore has chosen St George Foundation as his charity of choice.

The foundation helps homeless orphans from the streets of Sierra Leone and provides them shelter, education, medical care and also helps them reconnect with lost family.

The race, which is due to commence on August 20 will find Mr Vearncombe and his team sailing from Liverpool for the first 5,200 nautical mile leg journey. John and his team will board the Clipper yacht ‘Liverpool 2018’ named after the city itself, which is 1 of 12 identical Clipper Race ocean racing yachts taking part in this 40,000 nautical mile race around the world.

Mr Vearncombe who works as a property investor said:“I started sailing at the age of 28 after moving to Dundee, where I was able to join a local sailing club and fulfil my interest in sailing. It was here that I first came across the Clipper Round the World Race, and so began my journey to be a part of the most gruelling amateur global sea race known to man.

"As I take part in this once in a lifetime challenge, I want to use my experience to help others. This is why I chose to fundraise for the St George Foundation, asking people to sponsor each mile of my journey where I will dedicate the entire £40,000 sponsorship target to helping the street children of Sierra Leone."

To find out more or donate visit http://roundtheworld.blog/