A MARKETING executive is sailing across the world in a yacht race ­— despite having no previous experience.

Olly Fort, from Burnley, along with personal trainer Mary Vaughan-Jones, from Lancaster, have already sailed to Fremantle, Australia, as part of the 40,000 mile Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

Mr Fort said: “The highlight for me was steering the boat during our top recorded wind speed, 70pmh. It was just amazing.”

They left London on September 1, 2019 and sailed 15,000 miles from there.

There are almost 700 ordinary people from all over the world taking part in the global race that allows anyone over 18 to experience the thrill.

Mr Fort and his sailing partner, Ms Vaughan-Jones, had no sailing experience and, when they arrive back in London in the summer of 2020, they will join an elite group.

The latest race, race four, is one of 15 that forms the global Clipper Race route.

It saw the duo, who are on competing yachts, race 10 other identical yachts 24 hours per day for over three weeks.

They faced freezing cold temperatures, waves taller than buildings and wind speeds of over 60mph.

Mr Fort, racing on the team yacht called Visit Sanya, China, added: “This leg has been my favourite one so far, the seas where huge. The team spirit was really good, and everyone was really keen to get involved.”

They will be spending Christmas and New Year at sea, racing in the next stage of the race to Airlie Beach, The Whitsundays, on the east coast.

The Clipper Race is the only event of its type that gives people, regardless of previous sailing experience, the chance to race the world’s oceans. Some 40 per cent have never sailed before.

Each team, led by a professional skipper and first mate, is crewed by people, from all walks of life and representing 43 different nationalities.

So far, it has called into Portimao, Portugal, Punta del Este, Uruguay and Cape Town, South Africa and Fremantle, Australia.

After reaching the Whitsundays, Australia, the race will head to Sanya, China, Subic Bay, Philippines, Zhuhai and Qingdao, Seattle and New York, Hamilton, Derry, Londonderry, Northern Ireland and ending in London.