The Sport Relief team, completing the BT Sport Relief Hell On High Seas Challenge, have had to pause their mammoth challenge and berth at Plymouth Yacht Haven.
Skipper Ian Walker called the Plymouth Yacht Haven Night Watchman shortly before midnight seeking a berth for his 65" Volvo Ocean racing boat. The team safely moored on the pontoon at around 1am (on Wednesday 9th March), ably supported by the Haven Team who provided additional lines and fenders.
The all-star sailing team is skippered by round the world sailor Ian Walker alongside fellow racer Dee Caffari. The celebrity crew include:
- BBC One Show presenter Alex Jones
- Presenter Angellica Bell
- Motor Racing Presenter Suzi Perry
- Comedian Hal Cruttenden
- News and sports presenter Ore Oduba
- Comedian and actress Doon Mackichan
The team left Belfast on Sunday sailing towards London while raising money for Sport Relief. Since Sunday, the team have been on a 4 hour rotations as they made good progress at 10knots heading south past Wales and rounding Land's End yesterday evening. However, with gale force winds forecasted and a weather warning from Falmouth Coastguard, the team have temporarily halted their efforts with skipper Ian suggesting they are unlikely to leave Plymouth until midnight tonight as they wait for a weather window.
In the meantime, the team will be taking advantage of the stopover to rest after 4 days of epic sailing!
Find out more about the Hell On The High Seas Challenge
View the boat on our marina webcam
Follow @plymyachthaven on twitter for more updates from the day as the Sport Relief boat wait for a weather window before continuing their epic journey!
0910 UPDATE: Skipper Ian Walker has said that the challenge will continue under strict conditions:
0915 UPDATE: Angellica Bell thanks the Haven Team at Plymouth Yacht Haven for their help last night:
0925 UPDATE: It is likely the boat will be here in Plymouth until this evening at the earliest while this weather front comes through.
1100 UPDATE: Skipper Ian Walker, who has visited Plymouth Yacht Haven several times previously following Fastnet Races, gives an update to the Plymouth Herald:
1300 UPDATE: The crew are busy cleaning the boat in preparation for leaving at some point this evening. The strong winds continue at the moment but they're forecasted to pass through this afternoon into early evening giving a potential window for the team to resume their challenge.
1410 UPDATE: The team are still hoping to depart at some point this evening but are currently enjoying some lunch onboard! Follow the latest updates by following @plymyachthaven on twitter or Plymouth Yacht Haven on Facebook.
1420 UPDATE: Plymouth University Sailing Club grabbed a quick photo with Angellica Bell on the pontoon. See full photo
1430 UPDATE: Actress and comedian Doon Mackichan talks to the BBC saying, "We had a horrendous night last night. Absolutely freezing driving rain, the boat at an angle, lashed on, rain in my face for four hours, absolutely frozen to the bone. We all lay in bed and none of us could get warm. At least we were in the harbour now!"
1510 UPDATE: There is talk of a possible departure at 11pm tonight. This is still subject to change/confirmation!
1530 UPDATE: Marina Manager Steve Kitchen popped down to the boat to make a charity donation to skipper Ian Walker on behalf of the Plymouth Yacht Haven team (see full photo):
1610 UPDATE: The team are planning to leave Plymouth between 11am and midnight tonight to continue their Hell On The High Seas challenge. They need to be in London by 6.30pm on Friday evening in time for The One Show live on BBC One.
1645 UPDATE: Tune into the Simon Mayo show on BBC Radio 2 after 5pm for an update from Suzy Perry. If you miss that, the team will also be on The One Show on BBC One at 7pm.
1752 UPDATE: Suzy Perry tells the Simon Mayo BBC Radio 2 show that the boat will sail towards the Channel Islands tonight before turning and sailing hard into the cold winds tomorrow.
1832 UPDATE: Team expected to leave within the next few hours.
1936 UPDATE: Broadcasting live from Plymouth Yacht Haven, Alex Jones with Ian and Dee announced that they're expecting poor sea conditions and strong northerly winds when they depart later tonight.
1945 UPDATE: Team still planning to depart tonight at some point before midnight.
2220 UPDATE: The team have just departed, continuing their epic adventure. We wish them all the best in the second phase of their challenge!
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