First Fundraising Event A Success!

25 March 2002

Sail 4 Cancer’s first fundraising event, a sponsored mast climb, was a resounding success.  The event took place on Saturday 23 March at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth onboard the tall ship ‘Prince William’.

The Prince William is a 60 metre tall ship owned by the Sail Training Association (STA).  She carries 18 sails with a total sail area of nearly 1,200 sq metres and each sail is fixed to one of two 45-metre (150 foot) masts with nearly nine miles of wire and rope.

Forty five people took part in the challenge which was to climb one of the ship’s two massive masts.  We are delighted to announce that everybody made it to at least the first platform (just under half way up the mast) and over half the group made it to the very top!

Each climber was asked to raise a minimum sponsorship fund of £75 to take part and we are delighted to announce that everyone onboard more than hit this target.  As soon as the final amount has been calculated we will update this website.

David Gill, co-founder of the charity said:

“The risk assessment and gaining the required insurance for this event presented many challenges but I am pleased to say that these were overcome to make this event possible.  Climbing a 150 foot mast whilst at sea, when the ship is moving, is not for the faint-hearted and at all times safety was our primary concern.  I would like to thank the STA for their professionalism and vigilance.  They are a superb organisation and we look forward to working with them closely in the future.

Most importantly though, I would like to thank the forty five people who had the courage to take part.  Climbing up the Jacob’s Ladder, which leads to the first platform, takes considerable ‘bottle’ as it leans backwards.  If you then add in the rolling of the ship, it takes quite a bit of ‘grit’ to make it over the lip of the platform.

Some people elected to walk across the platform and then down the other side of the mast and back to the deck.  This is called the ‘up and over’.  At approximately sixty feet off the water’s surface, this is no easy feat.  Amazingly, everyone managed to achieve this and some people even went on to the very top of the mast.  Others decided to venture out on to the yard arms to help deploy the sails.”

Everyone at Sail 4 Cancer would like to thank all the participants, donors and of course the amazing crew at the STA for all their efforts.  We hope to announce some more Tall Ship Challenge dates again very soon so watch this space!


First Fundraising Event A Success!
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