Veteran crew set sail on the Round Britain Challenge 2016

A team of veterans affected by military operations have swapped home comforts for two months of nautical endurance as they attempt to sail 2000 miles around the British Isles, on the Turn to Starboard Round Britain Challenge.

A crew of 14 veterans – many with little or no sailing experience – set sail from Falmouth harbour on Wednesday June 1. Crowds gathered on the quay to wave goodbye to the three boats taking part in the expedition, accompanied by the Falmouth Marine Band.

The mammoth voyage, which is sponsored by International Paints, will see them battle fearsome winds, cold temperatures and rough seas, in a feat of physical, mental and emotional endurance.

A further 20 veterans from all over the UK will join the epic journey for shorter sections of the route, along with Young Ambassadors from the The Prince’s Trust and a documentary film crew.

The challenge has been organised by Turn to Starboard, a Falmouth-based sailing charity set up by former RAF squadron leader, Shaun Pascoe. The organisation, which is supported by The Endeavour Fund, has helped hundreds of military personnel suffering with physical injuries or mental trauma by providing sailing courses and family sailing trips in a supportive environment.

Shaun, who will also be taking part in the challenge, was the leader of a helicopter medical emergency response team. After finding it difficult to adjust to normal life outside of the forces, he embarked on a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Yachtmaster course, and within two weeks of sailing he felt in a better place. He now invests his time in helping others to feel the same.

He said: “The aim of the Round Britain Challenge is to help participants re-engage, reintegrate and gain new skills. Some of our crew will be gaining valuable sailing miles as part of their training for Yachtmaster qualifications, whereas others have set themselves a personal challenge as they battle with their own issues after Service life. Many of the participants are seeking solace in the companionship of others who have experienced similar situations, which allows them to feel valued in a supportive environment. Wish us luck!”

The team will be living, sleeping and working on the ‘Spirit of Falmouth’ – a wooden gaff-rigged 92 ft schooner donated to the charity by The Prince’s Trust.

Two smaller yachts will also take part in the expedition, to ensure a higher than expected number of applicants could participate.

Stuart Melville, spokesperson for expedition sponsor International Paints, said: “This is a fantastic challenge for such a worthy charity and we are delighted to be supporting the team as they fulfil the two-month journey. Our team will be offering advice and support to ensure the boat is in top condition and the sailors are ready to conquer the challenge.”
The charity are inviting the public to help them raise £20,000 towards supporting injured veterans by buying a mile of the expedition for £10 at www.turntostarboard.co.uk/round-britain-challenge-2016/.

 

 

 

 

 

Email us at: info@turntostarboard.co.uk

Website: www.turntostarboard.co.uk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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