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The Challenge – The Forces Windsurfing Challenge
Windsurfing teams from The Army, Royal Navy and RAF are planning an attempt to
circumnavigate the Isle of Wight both as individuals and as relay teams. The attempt will be
undertaken during the period 13-19 September with the aim of raising funds for the following
charities; Help for Heroes, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, The Royal Navy & Royal Marines
Charity and the RAF Benevolent Fund.
Rifleman Craig Wood is a keen windsurfer who, following injuries sustained during Op
HERRICK, is a triple amputee. His ambition is to windsurf again and this inspired the Forces
windsurfing community to complete an arduous windsurfing challenge to raise money for
Craig and those like him to assist them in their recovery. Please see Craig’s story here
The Mission: around the Isle of Wight
To windsurf across the English Channel is 22 miles across the wind and so averaging 15
knots would take less than 90 minutes. To windsurf from Dublin to Anglesey is 55 miles
downwind and would take just over 3 hours. To circumnavigate the Isle of Wight with a
circumference of 58 miles requires the challenger to sail on every point of the wind, combat
very strong tides and infamous sea states. Therefore, the minimum distance is estimated to
be at least 100 miles. In addition, having to beat upwind and sail off the wind the average
speed will be lower than across the wind sailing so depending on the actual distance covered,
wind and tide the challenge could take over 10 hours.
The primary charity is Help for Heroes, who will receive 70% of the profits from funds raised.
The remaining 30% will be divided equally to each Service’s benevolent fund: ABF The
Soldiers’ Charity, The Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity and the RAF Benevolent Fund.
The challenge requires help in many areas, commercial sponsorship, support RIBs, motor
cruisers/yachts, accommodation on the Isle of Wight, vehicles etc. It will require manpower to
assist in the challenge as well as raising funds for the charities. If you can help to support this
challenge in any way please do get in touch via the website http://forceswindsurfing.org.uk/
This will be held at 1600hrs on Monday 19th July 2010 at:
Inn on the Beach, 97 Sea Front, Hayling Island, PO11 0AS
The press launch will provide an opportunity to meet and interview Craig and many of the
windsurfers who will undertake this challenge. Personnel from Help for Heroes as well as
each Service charity may also be available for interview.