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24 Hour Sail at Salterns Sailing Club for Children in Need

by Hannah Snellgrove 23 Nov 2006 13:22 GMT 17-18 November 2006

Friday 17th November and the weather in Lymington was appalling. Winds were gusting over 50 mph and the rain was torrential. The annual Salterns Sailing Club 24 hour sail was due to begin at 5.00 pm that evening and last through to 5.00 pm on Saturday 19th November. Everything, including patio heaters and floodlights directed over the pond, was set up at the club and with only half an hour to go before the start the wind died down and the storm had passed – perfect timing!

Salterns Sailing Club, Lymington, is a children’s club which is run by a Junior Committee, the joint Commodores this year being Felix Kenchington and Sophie Boyle. This is the eighth successive annual sponsored sail in aid of the BBC Children in Need Appeal. Over 80 sailors aged from 6-16 took part in this years sail. In the last 7 years, the club has raised a staggering £32,000 for the charity through this event, an incredible achievement that is a credit to all of those who have been involved. We have already been pledged nearly £6000 from this years’ event and are set to break last years’ record of over £6600!

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

In previous years the BBC have filmed the young sailors at the Salterns and other years have seen representatives from the club taking part in the South Today studios. This year the event organiser Hannah Snellgrove, last years Commodore, had a live link up with Radio Solent. Friday evening, saw a group of sailors, together with Pudsey, Captain Hook and the Crocodile (complete with ticking clock!), visit numerous local pubs to collect money. They came back with over £800. Local people, pubs and businesses must again be thanked for their outstanding generosity in support of this well known annual event.

Many fun events took place during the day, all of which were organised by the Salterns Junior Committee, including a scavenger hunt, treasure map and a tombola and raffle, with many thanks to the countless local shops who donated wonderful prizes again this year. The Coastguard and Lifeboat representatives visited us during the day to talk to the young sailors about safety at sea.

Rod Carr, Chief executive of the RYA, and his wife Lynne kindly visited the club on Friday evening to experience at first hand the Salterns 24 Hour Sail. Lt Col Stuart Jardine, four times Olympian, came to Salterns to give his regular and valued support to the event. We are very grateful to Laura Baldwin, Olympian from Athens 2004, who joined us on Saturday afternoon and was fantastic in encouraging the young sailors. After the final 10 second countdown of the 24 hours and when the last 2 Moths had been packed away what has become a traditional part of the proceedings took place, namely walking the plank by the event organiser Hannah Snellgrove and her father Gary (the Crocodile!). Over £150 was instantly raised for this double act!

Laura Baldwin brought the 24 hours to a close by presenting gold certificates to those sailors who sailed overnight and silver to those sailors who took part during the day. She gave an inspirational speech and brought what had been a truly fantastic 24 hours to a great conclusion.

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