Elana Connor’s story is a remarkable and powerful one. Born into a violent family where she feared for her life, she ran away from home as a teenager and bounced around foster homes until she reached 18 and was told to fend for herself. By accident, she discovered sailing and it’s given her purpose and direction.
Elana arrived in New Zealand at the end of 2019 as she circumnavigated the globe and has been here ever since. She’s now close to finishing a figure eight of New Zealand and along the way has been casting light on the 6000 children in care and raising money for them to participate in a Spirit of New Zealand adventure. It’s a programme that is gaining traction and momentum and Elana would love nothing more than to see this develop into something much broader.
Elana tells her amazing story on this podcast, from the trauma of her childhood and seemingly hopeless situation she found herself in, to suddenly sailing solo around the world. She talks about the challenges she’s faced along the way, including being in New Zealand when Covid-19 hit, the impact her journey around the country has had so far, what Kiwis, including yacht clubs, can do to make sailing more inclusive and how she’s been able to rebuild her own life.