A Largs woman who battled long Covid has fulfilled her lifelong dream of sailing around the world.

As we previously reported, Elizabeth Balmer was left bedbound for eight months by a crippling strain of coronavirus.

She initially thought she only had earache, before the illness ravaged her body and stripped her of her independence.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Elizabeth Balmer has sailed around the worldElizabeth Balmer has sailed around the world (Image: Newsquest)

Now fully recovered, the PhD student joined the Our Isles and Oceans team on the Clipper Round the World Yacht race.

READ MORE: Largs woman who battled long Covid is sailing round the world

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race trains people from all over the world and from all walks of life to become ocean-racing sailors. 

Elizabeth and her teammates departed Zhuhai in China on March 12 to begin the epic challenge.

Before joining the Clipper Race, Elizabeth was a keen sailor, having sailed since she was young before being struck by long Covid.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Our Isles and Oceans arrives in Seattle, skippered by Max RiversOur Isles and Oceans arrives in Seattle, skippered by Max Rivers (Image: Clippers Ventures Plc)

The 29-year-old started out with a sail from southern to northern China, and has now sailed 5,500 nautical miles across the North Pacific, from Qingdao to Seattle in the USA.

She endured huge swells and wind speeds, with freezing temperatures thrown in on what is one of the longest races in the circumnavigation.

It is also the last ocean crossing before the crews race across the North Atlantic to Oban in just under two months.

It will mark the first time in Clipper Race history that the fleet will sail into Scotland.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Max Rivers, Our Isles and Oceans Skipper on arrival in SeattleMax Rivers, Our Isles and Oceans Skipper on arrival in Seattle (Image: Clipper Ventures Plc)

She was joined by professional skipper and first mate Max Rivers, who lead the team around the world.

He said: “The sheer act of getting up every time you’re woken and slipping out of bed and a cosy ocean sleepwear sleeping bag, putting on the mid-layers and wet foulies required to go on deck.

"Finding the elusive wet gloves that haven't fully dried from the watch before and heading out into the cold air of the North Pacific.

"Each of these individual acts is a small win, each is the conclusion of two seconds of courage and mental will power.

"We spent the longest time in the north, taking the most northerly route. I’m really proud of the crew for wanting to take this option and push right into the North Pacific and experience what it had to offer.

"I don’t think any of them have defrosted yet, so they’ll be looking forward to a hot shower and a beer!"