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24 Hour Sail at Salterns Sailing Club for Children in Need

by Hannah Snellgrove (SSC Commodore, aged 15) 22 Nov 2005 11:26 GMT 18-19 November 2005
Cold conditions for the 24 Hour Sail at Salterns Sailing Club for Children in Need © Jeff Dudley

From 5.00pm on Friday 18th November to 5.00pm on Saturday 19th November, Salterns Sailing Club, a children’s club in Lymington, carried out their 7th annual 24 hour sponsored sail in aid of BBC Children in Need.

In the last 6 years, the club has raised over £25,600 for the charity through this event, an incredible achievement that is a credit to all of those who have been involved. From the amount of money already pledged this year, we may reach £30,000 in 7 years, so we’ve just got to keep those fingers crossed!

The more experienced sailors sail on the floodlit pond in shifts overnight, helming British Moths, and are joined by the younger, less experienced members during the day who usually helm Optimists or crew in Lymington Scows. The light winds on the Saturday were perfect as it meant that the younger members could have their first taste of sailing a British Moth.

The weather has always been a little interesting for the 24 hour sail, often bringing unwelcome surprises, a thunderstorm in 2002 and snow in 2004 being those which immediately spring to mind. This year was no exception when the temperature during the night plummeted well below freezing point and sailing around the lake watching the frost creep slowly down the sail and the water in the bottom of the boat turn to ice did not make you feel any warmer.

A small group of sailors were lucky enough to be invited to the broadcasting studio in Southampton on the Friday evening for a live interview on the television, a once-in-a-lifetime experience that was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

On the Friday evening, another group of sailors, including Pudsey, Long John Silver and the Parrot, visited numerous local pubs to collect money and came back with over £700. Local people, pubs and businesses must again be thanked for their outstanding generosity.

Many fun events took place during the day, all of which were organised by the Salterns Junior Committee, including a scavenger hunt and a tombola and raffle, with many thanks to the countless local shops who donated wonderful prizes again this year.

In the past, the event has been well supported by a number of sailing celebrities including Ben Ainslie, Nick Rogers, Shirley Robertson and Nick Thompson and this year we were fortunate enough to be visited by Jez Fanstone during the day and also by Ben Paton, international Laser Radial sailor, and Stuart Jardine, 4 times past Olympian, two local sailing celebrities who presented the certificates to the tired young sailors at the end.

The Coastguard were also kind enough to visit us during the day to talk to the young sailors about safety at sea.

The event is very special in that it is organised and run by children to help others who are not as fortunate as themselves and it precisely sums up the essence of the club – teamwork, endeavour and great fun! The 24 hour sail has become a well known and well supported annual event in Lymington and the surrounding area, with many people coming down to the club on the day each year specifically to make a donation. I hope that it will continue to bring the members together as a team and raise lots more money for a very worthy cause for many years to come.

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