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Sarah blog 2

The Journey of a Lifetime

As we begin the school year, we love to encourage our students to set themselves goals and targets for the year ahead; these can be academic, personal, social or physical. Striving for personal achievement, as well as challenging ourselves, are important aspects to becoming lifelong learners. As a part of the BISC-LP community, it is wonderful to hear stories of adults who are modeling this for our students, encouraging them on a path of seeking challenge and chasing their dreams.

I would like to introduce the BISC-LP community to someone very special to me who is doing just this. My father, Andy Harrhy, is about to set off on the journey of a lifetime, circumnavigating the globe on a racing yacht. On September 1, Dad will leave St Katharine Dock in London, England, along with his team on the GoToBermuda yacht, to race against ten other teams in the Clipper Round the World yacht race. This is not a race on a luxurious yacht, this will be a race of endurance, personal sacrifice and extremely hard work. Dad will be on deck in shifts, will sleep in a bunk, will have no showers and little access to fresh food; at 68 years old this is no small feat. He is doing this to support a worthy cause, which I will talk about later, but also to challenge himself and inspire his four grandsons (and hopefully, the BISC-LP community). I value learning in all of its forms, love challenge and always seek to achieve in all that I do, but I am not sure I could take on the challenge that my father is on Sunday.

The race consists of one year, 40,000 nautical miles and eight legs, docking in places such as Uruguay, China, South Africa, Australia and USA, sailing through the Panama Canal and including shorter mid-leg stops in Portugal and the Philippines, to name a few. His longest time at sea should be about 6-7 weeks. There will be times when the weather is their friend, and times when it will be their worst enemy. My family and I will not be able to communicate with him, but we will be following his route via the Clipper website ( Please feel free to click on this link and see where the racers are in the world.

As I mentioned earlier, my father has chosen to support a charity that is close to him, Fight For Sight UK (, as a very close friend's son, who is only 16 years of age, has been diagnosed with a genetic degenerative eye condition, Stargardt disease, resulting in a progressive loss of vision. My mother and father have set up a Just Giving page to help Dad to raise money for this worthy charity – please go to if you would like to donate.

As I write this I am full of emotion; I am both incredibly proud of my Dad, and immensely nervous, for what lies ahead for him, and, even though he lives a long way from me now, I will miss not being able to communicate with him. We all have dreams, we all have our definition of success, and I am so proud that my Dad has followed his and led him to this amazing opportunity and achievement. I will keep the BISC-LP community informed of his progress and hope that Dad can inspire you to challenge yourself too!

-Sarah Pearce, Assistant Head, Professional Learning 

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