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24 hour sail for Children in Need at Salterns Sailing Club

by Hannah Snellgrove 24 Nov 2008 16:40 GMT 14-15 November 2008

Salterns’ 10th 24 hour sail raises over £10,000 for Children in Need

The Salterns Sailing Club, a small children’s sailing club run by children for children, held its 10th annual sponsored 24 hour sail for BBC Children in Need this weekend from 4.30pm on Friday evening, the night of the live telethon, and then on through the following day until 4.30pm on Saturday.

The children are aged from 6-16, with the older, more experienced sailors sailing in shifts overnight and the younger members coming down during the day to join in the fun.

In the past 9 years, the club has raised over £47,000 for the charity and at the beginning of this year, the ambitious target of raising £10,000 in the 10th year was set, around £2,000 more than has ever been achieved before.

Many fun events were run during the 24 hours to help reach the target including a tombola, a raffle, an auction, a scavenger and treasure hunt and two members of the Senior Committee walking the plank! It was looking a little touch-and-go at one stage but the local community rallied round - sailors came back from the pub and high street runs with over £2,500 which is simply unbelievable, all of the tombola and raffle prizes were donated by local shops, and local businesses gave sponsorship money; meaning that the record £10,000 was reached and surpassed! In fact, if all the money pledged comes in, we should reach £15,000 - not too bad for a small children's sailing club... who says there is a credit crunch on?!

This year’s event was absolutely incredible; we were blessed with the weather which was unusually mild for the time of year – and mercifully dry for the whole 24 hours, a pleasant change from the conditions we have faced in previous years, which include thunderstorms, rain, snow and finger-freezing temperatures! There were an amazing number of people down at the club, including around 30 past Commodores coming back to sail their own 24 hour marathon, and the founder of the club, Major Tony Hibbert MBE MC. The atmosphere was just fantastic as some of them hadn't seen each other or the club for 40 years!!! And it was such an inspiration for the junior sailors to meet the man who started the club off - after 90 years, fighting in the Second World War, becoming an entrepreneur and setting up the successful Trebah Garden in Cornwall, at the prize giving Major Hibbert said it was 'the proudest day of his life'.

It just shows how much everyone in Lymington loves the event; we were visited by so many local sailing celebrities - Pippa Wilson, Ben Paton and Nick Thompson who all learnt to sail at Salterns, Nigel King, Major Ado Jardine, Lt. Col. Stuart Jardine OBE, Tom Britz and Chris Mason... Some hadn't even been asked; they just knew it was going on and wanted to be a part of it. It was truly inspirational for the youngsters to get tips from Ado, Olympic Bronze Medallist; go out for a ride in a Scow with Nigel, celebrated solo yachtsman, or with Ben, former Laser Radial World and European Champion; and just fantastic for them to see these people getting so involved. The club also received tons of good luck messages from those who couldn't be there and from people who had been involved with previous 24 hour sails. One couple now living in France actually returned especially to cook the bacon butties at breakfast because they couldn't bear to miss it!

It was a massive team effort, but more important than everyone having a great time was the amount of money raised for children who haven't had the same opportunities as the children at Salterns have had.

More information on the Salterns Sailing Club Children In Need website

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