Salterns 24 hour Sail-a-thon raises almost £6,000 for Children in Need
Another fabulous effort by Lymington's sailing club for children run by children in this 20th year of fundraising!
They've done it! This weekend the children of Salterns Sailing Club completed their Sail-a-thon, sailing non stop for 24 hours in aid of the BBC Children in Need appeal.
The total so far for this year's Sail-a-thon is almost £6,000 - can you help the children increase this amount? You can donate to Children in Need via the Salterns justgiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/salterns-sailing-club-cin
The challenge started promptly at 4.30pm on Friday 16 November with hoards of members sailing in optimists, RS Teras, British Moths and Lymington Scows.
BBC South Today team came to interview Commodore Alex Paton, aged 17, and Junior Committee member Sammy Griffiths, aged 13, and earlier in the day Alex was interviewed on BBC Radio Solent.
Salterns Sailing Club, based at Eight Acre Pond in Lymington, is a sailing club for children, run by children. Over the last 19 years, the children of Salterns have raised over £150,000 for Children in Need - not bad for a small children’s sailing club! Learn more here.
In this twentieth year, a large number of past Commodores travelled back to Lymington to sail their own 24 hour Sail-a-thon alongside the children. Ollie Tait (Commodore 2015), James Eady (Commodore 2014) and Tom Simpson (Commodore 2010) spent the whole day driving down from Newcastle for the event - and Guy Wilson (Commodore 1983) flew over from Bremen in Germany to take part!
"Throughout the 24 hours it was fantastic to have so much support from the past commodores," said Alex Paton. Past commodores who came along to support included 1962 Commodore Joe Blachford, 1967 Commodore John Claridge, 1973 Commodore Ian Halliday, 1998 Commodore Johnny Clegg and 2000 Commodore Rupert Stock, who was one of the organisers of the first 24 hour sailathon in 1998.
During the 24 hours it was also great to have support from the local sailing community, including local Olympians Barry Dunning and 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 in the 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 America's Cup Land Rover BAR team, brought his children - now members of Salterns themselves - to take part in the sailathon.
The first few hours passed very quickly, with a lot of boats out on the water. During the evening Pudsey and some of the Junior Committee visited a number of pubs and restarurants around Lymington, collecting for Children in Need.
Over night the sailing continued non-stop, with the older children taking it in turns to sail whilst others caught up with 40 winks. It was cold and eerie - but thankfully there was a little wind to keep them moving."The early hours of the morning were tough," shared Alex. "But we kept going by thinking about children less fortunate than us and how we are helping them by raising money."
The morning was hard. Due to the windy conditions, not many of the younger members were keen to sail, but the Junior Committtee sailed on regardless.
At midday 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!
And then the sun came out! Young sailors flocked down to sail and many people stopped by to buy cakes and tombola tickets.
During the afternoon 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! As you can imagine it got very competitive!
At 4.30pm on Saturday 17 November the children counted down to the end of the 24 hour sailathon, with Pudsey sailing in to moor at the pontoon.
Congratulations to everyone who took part, to all the volunteer organisers and of course to all who have supported the event. The 20th Salterns Sail-a-thon was another fun success!
Here are a few pictures taken over the 20th Salterns Sail-a-thon in aid of Children in Need: