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The Ocean Globe Race wears a red tulip on April 11 to raise awareness of World Parkinson’s Day

April 11 is World Parkinson’s Day , the birthday of the doctor who discovered the symptoms, James Parkinson.

The objective of this event is to inform patients and give them a message of hope, but also to raise public awareness of the Parkinsonian Syndrome.

Bertrand Delhom will be the first sailor with Parkinson’s disease to race around the world. 

By joining the OGR, Bertrand Delhom intends to deliver a message of hope to the 7 million patients affected by Parkinson’s disease worldwide. Photo Credit: Team Neptune.

Bertrand’s passion for sailing was born while sailing in Brittany, numerous regattas and life aboard his Muscadet for two years. Bertrand was very involved in the world of sailing in Finistère. Then, in May 2021 the diagnosis fell: Parkinson, a neurodegenerative disease, currently incurable. An uppercut. He had to digest the news, find how to move forward. The idea of a new project was born. He contacted the organisers of the OGR who put him in touch with the French teams involved in the race. Skipper Tanneguy Raffray says YES! Bernard can now join a round the world racing crew!

It is a nautical and human adventure of several months which can bring a message of hope for the 7 million Parkinson’s patients in the world, including 200,000 in France. Sharing this experience can support carers, caregivers and researchers. We will be supported by the Rennes neuroscience center, the Brest branch and the Kerpape business incubator specializing in adaptation to disabilities. It is also a message to all the new ‘Parkinsonians’, who are too numerous and increasingly young. ‘Who dares who lives’. Like the motto of Neptune.

Bertrand Delhom

Fascinated by the sea since childhood, the Whitbread has always had a special attraction for Dr. Tan Raffray. In February 2022, he took the famous Neptune, a French 60-foot competitor to the 1977 Whitbread, out of semi-Caribbean retirement and sailing her across the Atlantic for the first edition of the 2023 Ocean Globe Race, and dedicated her race to fight against neurodegenerative diseases!

Tan Raffray, the project coordinator and skipper of Neptune is an ophthalmologist. Photo Credit: Team Neptune.

I have been divided since adolescence between maritime and medical vocations and more strongly affected by my entourage by Parkinson’s disease. When Bertrand asked me to join the crew of Neptune as a full-fledged teammate in this race around the world by the 3 capes, we have enthusiastically decided to integrate it, and to dedicate our race to the fight against neurodegenerative diseases.

Tanneguy Raffay

Since 2018 Don McIntyre, organiser of the Ocean Globe Race, has been an international ambassador and long-time supporter of the chosen event charity.

SITraN at the University of Sheffield. Picture Credit:Paul Mcmullin.

Prof. Dame Pamela Shaw, neurologist and Director of the University of Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN), said:

We are delighted to be associated with the Ocean Globe Race 2023 and extend our best wishes to the teams involved, including Mr. Delhom. SITraN is a world-leading research institute dedicated to improving the lives of people suffering from Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease and Alzheimer’s. It’s wonderful that these challenging races are a beacon of hope for individuals and families suffering from devastating neurodegenerative diseases. It’s such a worthy cause to support.

Red tulips are the symbol of the fight against Parkinson’s disease. On the occasion of the world day against this disease, April 11, our OGR social networks will display a red tulip. We invite our followers to do the same to salute the commitment of the crew of the Neptune, raise awareness and help science to advance so that one day, this insidious disease may be relegated to the rank of ‘bad flu’ as Bertrand Delhom hopefully puts it.