THIS time last year, Cath James, pictured, was sitting behind a desk as a strategic director at West Oxfordshire District Council.

But today, the 41-year-old from Witney was setting off on an 11-month, 40,000-mile round-the-world yacht race, despite having never sailed before January. Miss James will use the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race to raise money for forces charity Help for Heroes.

Miss James said: “It has all been a very, very steep learning curve but I cannot wait to start.”

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