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Mundesley round-the-world sailor survives close whale encounter

PUBLISHED: 11:25 31 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:28 31 October 2017

David Greer is sailing round the world after surviving a brain injury. Photo: Marie Greer

David Greer is sailing round the world after surviving a brain injury. Photo: Marie Greer

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An intrepid brain injury survivor had a close encounter with a whale while on a Round the World Yacht Race challenge.

Despite a close encounter with a whale, which forced them to turn back to shore, the team have reached Cape Town. Photo: Marie Greer Despite a close encounter with a whale, which forced them to turn back to shore, the team have reached Cape Town. Photo: Marie Greer

David Greer, 65, from Mundesley survived a brain injury in 2012 which left him unable to walk.

He is taking part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race; an 11 month ocean sailing challenge.

And Mr Greer described the encounter with the whale as one of the highlights of the race.

He said: “There was no time to be frightened.”

They set sail for Fremantle, Australia, on October 31. Photo: Marie Greer They set sail for Fremantle, Australia, on October 31. Photo: Marie Greer

“We had to pull together as a team to bring our boat under control.

“We had to bail out the water, undertake a temporary repair to the hole in the boat and to continue bailing water as we returned to port.

“Sadly we didn’t have much time to see if the whale was seriously injured as our focus was on saving ourselves, but we did glimpse it swimming away and believe that it survived.

“Once on dry land, there was a moment of realisation of what a close call we had.”

In Australia, Mr Greer will be reunited with his twin brother after 15 years separation. Photo: Marie Greer In Australia, Mr Greer will be reunited with his twin brother after 15 years separation. Photo: Marie Greer

Read more: Survivor tackles toughest endurance challenge on the planet

Mr Greer’s team, PSP Logistics, began the second leg of the race on a high after coming in second to cross the first leg’s finish line.

They left Uruguay for Cape Town on October 4, but just one day into the race, they suffered a disaster, when their boat collided with a Southern Right whale, flooding it, and forcing them to return to Uruguay.

They restarted the race on October 10, and battled through four major storms to reach Cape Town on October 28 - 24 days after they first set out.

The team were awarded the Leg 2 prize for best social spirit, and best on-board photograph.

Read more: Mundesley man says goodbye to wife and two dogs, as he sets off on the toughest endurance challenge on the planet

And once the team arrived at the harbour in Cape Town, they were given the news that their skipper - the only professional sailor on board - had resigned.

The team were given a day off sailing, and on October 30 they practiced with their new skipper.

They will set sail again on October 31, as they take on the third leg of the race, from Cape Town to Fremantle, Australia; a 25-day journey of 4,800 miles.

And when the team arrive, the intrepid survivor will be reunited with his twin brother for the first time in 15 years.

Mr Greer said his highlights of the second leg were surviving to tell the tale of the whale; the exhilaration of riding the storms; and finally seeing Cape Town and Table Mountain come into view after 24 days at sea.

Read more: ‘I am living my dream’ - Mundesley sailor starts second leg of Round the World Yacht Race

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