Round the Island 2009www.roundtheisland.org.uk . Until midnight on 7 March, competitors can benefit from the early bird rate of £65.
The race regularly attracts over 1,600 boats and 2008 was a record year with 1,875 boats entered. Many skippers make fundraising for charity an important aspect of the event with a record £100,000 achieved in 2008.
To recognise this outstanding contribution, title sponsors JPMorgan Asset Management will be awarding a new Charity Cup, for the most money raised by an individual or boat entered into the race. The first recipient is Edward Donald, from Winchester, who raised the highest single amount for charity in 2008. He is a previous Gold Roman Bowl winner in the Folkboat Madelaine. Having undergone successful treatment for Hodgkinson's Lymphoma himself, Edward supported Leukaemia Research and raised over £18,000.
Although competitors support a full range of charities, four major causes have been chosen for the JPMorgan Asset Management 2009 Charity Challenge. Boats representing the four charities were the first to enter as Challenge Macmillan, Challenge Prostate UK, Challenge Breast Cancer Care and Challenge Ellen MacArthur Trust. The charities will compete in the race sailing identical Oceanis 37s, courtesy of race partner Bénéteau. Each boat will have crew places available for those who wish to represent and raise money for one of these four charities. A professional skipper and crew members will also be onboard.
In 2008, Louise Massey was determined to race with the Breast Cancer Care Charity Challenge boat, despite being in the terminal stages of breast cancer herself. A former keen dinghy sailor, Louise was at the time having difficulty walking but she nonetheless stayed the course, despite conditions which were testing for completely fit sailors, and her smile at the finish line showed how proud she was of that achievement. Her crew were immensely touched by her determination to complete the race, knowing what gritty resolution Louise had demonstrated to achieve this. Sadly she died just a few weeks after completing her final personal challenge but Louise’s story has certainly proved an inspiration to others.
Anyone who would like to apply for a place on one of the four JPMorgan Asset Management Charity Challenge boats should contact Dan Wilkinson for more details: firstname.lastname@example.org , telephone 01983 247286. For more information on donating to the charities access http://www.justgiving.com/roundtheisland .