A DISLIKE of boats and a fear of the sea is perhaps not the best start for a sailing novice soon to embark on a 60 mile race around the Isle of Wight.
But when Alia Cooper, who lives off Ferrymead Avenue, Greenford, was introduced to the challenge by a colleague she jumped at the chance.
Although, if it had not been for a book she had just read at the time, it might have been a whole different story.
The 36-year-old financial consultant, said: "My friend was organising a team of people and I said yes. I had finished a book called Yes Man by Danny Wallace where he decides he's fed up with not doing things and decides to say yes to everything.
"I'm not taking it quite that far but it made me think I should do more things I wouldn't normally do so I said yes without really thinking about it. I'm quite nervous about the whole thing, I don't like boats of any description and I'm frightened of the sea; I think it's going to be a kill or cure kind of thing. Especially as the race is in October so the water will be choppy."
The bravery is all in a good cause, the race was organised to raise funds for Action Medical Research, a charity whose work helps children affected by disease or disability.
Ms Cooper will receive a day's training before being let loose on a 40ft yacht in a team of six who are hoping to raise at least £5,000.
But as far as training goes, that is it. She added: "Most of my preparation is drinking and getting to know the guys I'll be sailing with. Most of them have been sailing before so I know I'll be in safe hands.
"I don't know about winning, just completing the race is going to be the achievement for me."