A Purley man and his trusted teddy are set to embark on a gruelling round-the-world yacht race.

Jon Milne and teddy 'Sailor Swift' will tackle the Clipper Round The World race in aid of the Lily Foundation, a charity dedicated to finding a cure for mitochondrial disease.

Milne will be Crewing aboard the UK government sponsored GREAT Britain, one of 12 yachts taking part.

He'll be kept company on the record-breaking voyage by a Lily Foundation teddy bear named Swift.

“Sailor Swift represents the amazing work the Lily Foundation does and all the brave children who are fighting mitochondrial disease today,” he said.

“My voyage will be tough but it's nothing compared to what those children and their families are enduring. So wherever I go, Swift goes too. He’s already visited 10 Downing Street for the official announcement of the GREAT Britain team."

Jon, a keen sportsman and former rugby coach, gave up his job as an IT executive to volunteer for what he calls "the adventure of a lifetime."

Over the eight legs of the race he will spend approximately 11 months at sea and cover 40,000 nautical miles.

The Clipper Round The World race starts from Liverpool on 20/08/17.

'Sailor Swift' is tweeting from the race. You can keep up to date with his voyage at https://twitter.com/SailorSwiftBear

You can donate here: www.thelilyfoundation.org.uk/sailor-swift