After 8 weeks, 2000 nautical miles, 32 different ports, 1 dolphin escort and various technical problems, the two Round Britain boats completed their challenge arriving back at Fambridge Yacht Haven, Essex, on Saturday 25th June.
The two boats departed the marina on the River Crouch in early May sailing anti-clockwise around the UK while raising nearly £6,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support! After entering the River Crouch, the team were escorted across the finish line by a group of family and friends.
Why Macmillan Cancer Support?
Orchestrated by Colin Stracey, Principal of First Class Sailing East Coast, the challenge has been several years in the making. Colin explains, "This fundraiser was to thank Macmillan nurses who had offered support when my son James was rushed into hospital with stomach pains in late-2013 only to discover that it was bowel cancer. James had surgery and chemotherapy and thanks to the wonderful medical staff and superb care and support provided by Macmillan, he has made a full recovery".
James commented, "I am one of the lucky ones, and without the help of fantastic organisations such as Macmillan, life would be much harder for those like me, and for the families of those who are not so fortunate in their own fight. The support they provide is vital to so many, and if we can raise enough for them to help just one person, to pay one gas bill, or buy one winter coat then, trust me, it will make all the difference".
Proudly supported by Yacht Havens
While circumnavigating the UK, the boats stopped at each of Yacht Havens coastal UK marinas in addition to starting and finishing at Fambridge Yacht Haven, Essex. After passing through the Caledonian Canal, the boats made a stop at Largs Yacht Haven in Ayrshire, and shortly after at Troon Yacht Haven. After a serene sail along the Welsh coast, the boats arrived at Neyland Yacht Haven in Pembrokeshire before rounding Land's End to reach Plymouth Yacht Haven. A final sail along the south coast, including a stopover at Lymington Yacht Haven, preceded crossing the finish line at their home marina in Essex.
While visiting Plymouth Yacht Haven, the sailors were given a surprise when they were welcomed to the marina by the entire Yacht Havens Group team. Marina Managers from all of Yacht Havens' locations as well as Yacht Havens Managing Director Dylan Kalis were on-hand to take lines and offer support for exhausted crew. Commenting on the achievement, Dylan said "We've been tracking the boats every step of the way and it has been wonderful to hear their stories from each leg of the trip. This has been a huge undertaking by Colin and his crew - we extend our warmest congratulations on completing the challenge!"
The challenge's Just Giving donation page is still open for donations to Macmillan Cancer Support.