Families Go Sailing During Cowes Week 2005
10 August 2005
Families affected by cancer have had the opportunity to go sailing again this summer during Skandia Cowes Week.
The highlight of the week was the ‘Stars of Sailing’ Challenge, with some of the biggest names in sailing taking part. Members of the public and sailors alike bought raffle tickets to win a chance to sail in the race with one of eight sailing celebrities, each crew being made up of one sailing legend and one raffle winner.
The skipper list read like a ‘Who’s Who’ in sailing including Olympians Shirley Robertson, Ben Ainslee, Iain Percy and Steve Mitchell. Vendee Globe heroes Nick Moloney and Alex Thompson, plus Around Alone heroine Emma Richards and Sydney-Hobart winner Grant Wharrington. The dinghy pedigree shone from the start with Ben stealing the show, hotly pursued by Shirley, Iain and Steve. Ben finished Race 2 by such a margin that he chose to cross the finish line backwards!
Also out on the water, the Timberland sponsored RIB rides were a massive hit with the shore based crowds, enabling children and adults alike to watch the sailing from the water. At a cost of £10 per adult with all the costs being borne by Timberland, this was a hugely successful initiative. Similarly, the Skandia and UKSA sponsored ‘Try Sailing’ initiative enabled many families who have never sailed before the chance to experience the sport in the home of sailing. However, Sail 4 Cancer’s presence on the water wasn’t all about raising funds. Five families living with cancer were also treated to a day out on the water, giving them all a chance to escape from the reality of their everyday lives albeit for a short time.
Commenting on the week’s proceedings, Richard Groome, Trustee of Sail 4 Cancer said:
“The team came in to the Skandia Cowes Week on a low following the loss of Ray Moloney (our Trustee in Australia). Thanks to the incredible support of the public, sailing community and sponsors we are on track to help achieve our goals of positively enhancing the lives of those afflicted by cancer. A special thank you must also go to the team of volunteers, many of whom have also be affected by cancer, who gave up their time to make the event a huge success”.
Sail 4 Cancer is the Official Charity of the ‘Skandia Set Sail’ programme which has operations in both the UK and Australia.