A SAILOR who received an organ transplant is competing against 1,500 other boats in the famous Round the Island Race.

Jacquie Dowding, who lives on her boat at Brighton Marina, underwent her second kidney transplant operation two years ago at Guy’s Hospital in London.

The 60-year-old said at the time she thought it would be extremely difficult to find another kidney for her due to her condition.

Ms Dowding only had 11 per cent kidney function while on the donor waiting list.

After the second operation, she said life for her has started again and she intends to live everyday to the fullest.

She added: “I am grateful to the man who donated his kidney to me, and also to his family who donated his organs. It has given me a quality of life.

“Two years ago, I thought I would have to wait a very long time for my kidney due to my disease.

“Now I am determined to show everyone what organ recipients can do.

“I want to prove to everyone that the things that would have been difficult for us are achievable.”

Ms Dowding, who acts as a boat safety advisor for the RNLI and is a patron of the charity Give a Kidney.

A sailor and a professional skipper, she recently sailed around Southampton Water, north of the Solent and the Isle of Wight, to promote World Kidney Day and organ donation on March 14.

Now Ms Dowding has rounded up five other organ transplant recipients and her own surgeon from Guy’s Hospital to take part in the Round the Island Race on June 29.

They will be sailing around the Isle of Wight with the 1,500 other boats.

She added: “The other participants are from Portsmouth, Bognor, Devon and Norfolk.

“I got in touch with them via social media and contacts through the World Transplant Games which I took part in when I was young.

“Everyone is looking forward to it. Some of them have no experience but they are getting some training.

“We are all keen to take on this challenge. I have started a crowdfunding page to raise £4,500 for our chartered yacht, travel, food and fuel.

“This could potentially be a yearly activity for us but it depends on funding. It’s hard to say because organ donations don’t last forever, and we just live for the moment and we make the most of our time.”

Go to justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jacquie-dowding-1.