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20th Salterns Sail-a-thon

by Tanya Baddeley 21 Nov 2018 09:26 GMT 16-17 November 2018
Sailing overnight at the 20th Salterns Sail-a-thon © Salterns Sailing Club

The young sailors of Salterns Sailing Club showed great stoicism when they sailed through the night in cold temperatures for the BBC Children in Need appeal.

This is the 20th year that Salterns Sailing Club, a Lymington sailing club for children run by children, has organised a 24 hour 'sail-a-thon' for Children in Need. The junior committee organise the event every year and make sure that there are at least two boats out sailing all the time during the 24 hour period.

So far the children have raised over £6,500 and this figure is still rising as donations come in and sponsor money is being collected. This takes the total raised by the children of Salterns over 20 years to almost £160,000 - not bad for a small children's sailing club!

The intrepid young sailors managed to keep at least two boats sailing between 4.30pm on Friday 16th to 4.30pm on Saturday 17th November. Many did not sleep and sailed in near to freezing conditions.

"The early hours of the morning were tough," shared Alex Paton, Commodore of Salterns Sailing Club, aged 17. "But we kept going by thinking about children less fortunate than us and how we are helping them by raising money."

"Throughout the 24 hours it was fantastic to have so much support from the ex commodores," said Alex. Past commodores who came along to support included Joe Blachford (1962 Commodore), John Claridge (1967 Commodore), Ian Halliday (1973 Commodore), Mark McCafferty (1991 Commodore), plus Johnny Clegg (1998 Commodore) and Rupert Stock (2000 Commodore), both organisers of the first 24 hour Salterns sail-a-thon in 1998. Some past commodores and old salts took the opportunity to race against each other in British Moths - some having not sailed at Salterns for quite some time!

"It was a tremendous event, great to raise so much for the charity and the organisers should be congratulated," said Donna Gittins (1990 Commodore).

Many from the local sailing community came along to support the Salterns event, including Olympians Barry Dunning, Stuart and Ado Jardine and ex Laser Radial World Champion Ben Paton.

Kirstie Urwin, who learnt to sail at Salterns and is now a member of the British Sailing Team (Nacra 17) inspired young sailors on Saturday, taking them out for a sail in a Lymington Scow, whilst Matt Cornwell, who sailed with Sir Ben Ainslie's Land Rover BAR team, brought his children - now members of Salterns themselves - to take participate in the sail-a-thon.

Members of the Lymington RNLI crew arrived for their annual Optimist race. This includes rigging and launching their oppies before sailing a course around the lake. As usual they got rather wet and provided a great laugh for spectators!

Saturday afternoon was buzzing with members and visitors, with many younger sailors out on the lake. The tombola, silent auction, colouring competition and refreshments keeping everyone else busy!

Salterns Sailing Club would like to thank everyone who supported their 20th Sail-a-thon.

You can help the children of Salterns Sailing Club raise funds for Children in Need by donating on their justgiving page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/salterns-sailing-club-cin

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