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Tuesday 10 March 2015

Sailing for cancer - Warsash students ready to cast off

Twenty-four hours in a life-raft in the River Hamble. That’s the challenge facing cadets from Southampton Solent University’s Warsash Maritime Academy.

On Friday 13 March 2015, while some will be laughing their way to raising money for Comic Relief, an intrepid group of 43 cadets will brave the elements and spend 24 hours in a life raft in aid of Sail 4 Cancer, a specialist cancer respite charity with a sporting focus.

An experience every seafarer hopes they never have to undergo for real, the challenge tests the cadets’ courage, self-confidence, team-building skills and endurance.

The cadets will board their raft, which will be tethered to buoys at the end of the Academy’s pier head and afloat in the waters of the River Hamble, as if they were cast adrift with their boat sinking behind them.

Supported for the second year running, as well as a chance to boost their training, the challenge helps raise awareness of the difficulties faced by families living with cancer in the UK.

Cadet Liaison Officer David Baker says: “Last year’s challenge was a great success and this year’s team wants to do just as well, if not better. We’ve even got someone taking part who did it last year!”

“It’s a great experience for the cadets and a good opportunity to enhance their training. We’re pleased to be supporting Sail 4 Cancer once again,” he continued.

Watch a video of last year’s challenge>>

Previous challenger and cadet Matt Shipman says: “Last year the challenge was cold, wet with force eight winds and most people sat in four inches of water. It’s an unpleasant experience but a valuable one. I know first-hand how sailing can give relief from problems, which is why I’m willing to do it all again for Sail 4 Cancer.”

Donations to Sail 4 Cancer can be made via the Team Warsash Sail 4 Cancer webpage, which has information about the individuals taking part in the challenge, including their motivations for getting involved.

Sail 4 Cancer’s Fundraising Manager, Lizette van Niekerk, says: “I’m delighted that Warsash Maritime Academy has put a team together again to take on the life-raft challenge. Last year’s team raised a phenomenal amount of money, which helped us provide much-needed respite breaks for families who are going through a very difficult time. I’m confident that this year’s team will do just as well.”

Companies supporting this year’s challenge include Survitec Group, who are providing the life-rafts, Sunsail Events, who are providing life jackets and foul weather gear, and Sodexo, who are providing hot food to help sustain the cadets through the challenge.