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Forty Families Go Sailing On The Isle Of Wight

17 August 2006

Sail 4 Cancer offered 100 people living with cancer to try sailing this month.   The trips took place during Cowes Week, one of the largest mass participation sporting events in the world.  With up to 1,000 boats and 8,000 competitors taking part throughout the week, Cowes Week is the largest sailing regatta of its kind in the world.

Sail 4 Cancer worked closely with its healthcare partners across the country to find families who would benefit most from a day trying something new.  By giving those families, something to look forward to, the days were designed to build confidence and to provide lasting memories.

During the week, Sail 4 Cancer helped forty families in total with roughly half going sailing on the Whitbread 60 Bluebox.  A former round-the-world racing yacht, all crew members were given a ‘job’ to do whilst onboard to ensure this complex piece of engineering kept moving forwards.

The Bluebox experience was one to remember for many!  With the use of their 30 foot RIB (speed boat) many people also enjoyed an awesome blast across the wave tops.  It was an added bonus and one that many did not expect they would do that day!

The remainder of the families went sailing on the classic sailing vessel ‘Tangaroa’ which was a little more subdued.   With an overall length of 85 feet and a beam of 16 feet there was more room to serve tea and cakes on deck!  However, the families were still encouraged to help sail the boat and some even ventured up the mast to get a better view of the racing!

Richard Groome from Sail 4 Cancer explained:

“Cancer not only zaps your physical and mental strength, but it often has a massive effect on confidence.  Our sailing days are designed to boost confidence at a time when it can be at an all time low.  By learning something new and taking responsibility for something significant (like steering a massive boat!), people realise that they can still achieve amazing things with positive outcomes.  Our beneficiary families often leave the boat with new friends too and they realise that they are not alone on their journey through cancer treatment.”

The feedback we have had from these days has again been fantastic!

“The whole family has been gobsmacked to hear that Debbie ‘got stuck in’ and even more surprised to hear that she went for the rib ride!” Frank

“It was such a lovely and wonderful experience and certainly the highlight of the year for me.” Mary

“Tuesday will rate as a very happy and unforgettable one in our special memories bank.” Melvyn and Jenny

“When you fight the Big C on a daily basis it is hard to forget, but on Monday that was all forgotten, thank you!” Pat and Brian

Forty Families Go Sailing On The Isle Of Wight
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