Updated 20 February 2017

Sailing for diabetes

Eddie Crane, a sailing enthusiast is attempting to be the first diabetic to circumnavigate the globe in the Clipper Ventures 2011- 2012 race.

Eddie Crane, a sailing enthusiast is attempting to be the first diabetic to circumnavigate the globe in the Clipper Ventures 2011- 2012 race.

In 2003 Eddie Crane was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and he’s had to administer insulin every day since. During that same period, Crane was surfing the web and came across the 2002- 2003 Clipper Ventures racing event.

In 2005 Crane decided to board one of the yachts that had boarded in Durban and went for a little yacht trip along the Durban coastline. This was when his love for sailing began.

“This was the first time I was on board a yacht sailing on the sea,” says Crane. “On return to the Durban Port, the organisers of the race asked me if I was interested in taking part in the race. My immediate response was ‘yes!’”

In August 2008 Crane went to Portsmouth, England to begin his first yacht sailing training course. At the end he was awarded the Royal Yacht Club Competent Crew Certificate, which qualifies him to crew yachts up to 68 foot in size. With this achievement, he decided to take on the Clipper Ventures race.

Preparing for the race

In preparation for the event, Crane went to consult his Diabetic Specialist and received an “all clear” as well as a Medical Clearance Certificate.

“One of the main guidelines I have to follow, is to get my medication at all the Ports of Call during the race,” Crane explains.

The time spent out at sea will be six weeks between each of the stops. During each of the six weeks, he will be self-medicating himself and will be checking his glucose levels periodically and adjusting medication when required.

One of the challenges he has to face is making sure he has been properly nourished and that his energy levels match the physically demanding work.  “I have been consulting a diabetic dietician to ensure I have the correct nutrition input throughout the race.”

The race itself has a total of 10 identical 68 foot yachts. All yachts have about 14 to 18 crew members at all times. The Skipper on board is a trained medic and one of the remaining crew members will also be a trained medic. If there are any complications, medical staff is available. The yachts are also equipped with satellite communication and medivac personnel are on call 24/7.

Raising awareness

Crane’s reason for attempting such an ambitious challenge is to raise awareness around the world about diabetes, diabetes research, prevention and treatment and wellness programmes.  

Diabetes SA has endorsed him with his venture, but he does need additional sponsors/ donations to cover his participation in this event. 

Diabetes is one of the foremost health concerns in world with approximately 285 million people affected currently.

If you wish to aid Eddie Crane in his venture contact him here

Visit Eddie’s site here for more information

(Kyle Boshoff, Health24, April 2011)

Read more:

What is type 2 diabetes?

Diabetes: the silent killer


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