Four friends, including two men from Deddington, will be sailing more than 2,000 nautical miles around the coast of Britain and Ireland for charity next month.
Peter Soddy and Mike O’Brien will join Peter Best and Mark Bales as they set off in a Hanse 345 sailing yacht, Honey Bee, raising funds for Teenage Cancer Trust.
The challenge is expected to take two to three months, depending on the weather - visiting around 40 ports and anchorages on the way.
The route will see them leaving Honey Bee’s berth in Beaulieu on the south coast towards Dover, up the east coast, around the top of Scotland and then back down the west coast through the Irish Sea to finish back in Beaulieu.
The crew is meeting all the costs of the challenge themselves so everything donated will go to the charity which is close to all of their hearts.
Mike said: “We thought it would be good to raise some money for those less fortunate than ourselves and believe that Teenage Cancer Trust is a charity that everyone can identify with.
“We have all been touched in some way or another by cancer, be it close family or friends, work colleagues or neighbours.
“It seems particularly worse when it impacts a young person.
“Cancer does not differentiate and every day seven young people are diagnosed with this dreadful disease.”
This is not a challenge to be taken lightly – while the four man crew are all experienced sailors, none have completed a circumnavigation of our shores so this will be a whole new experience.
Peter Soddy said: “I competed in leg one of the 2015/2016 Clipper Round the World Race which was a challenge but coastal sailing around Britain will pose a whole new set of challenges to be faced.”
Plenty of preparation has gone into the sail including plotting potential courses, collecting information on harbours and anchorages as well as assessing potential tides around the coast.
Fundraising coordinator at Teenage Cancer Trust, Pippa MacBain, said: “We’re so grateful to the Honey Bee crew for taking on this amazing challenge to support young people with cancer – we’ll be cheering them along the way!
“Currently for every young person with cancer Teenage Cancer Trust reaches, there’s another we can’t.
“Money raised will ensure every young person facing cancer has access to our expect care, regardless of where they live or choose to be treated.”
Follow the sailors’ daily progress at www.marinetraffic.com.
To support their challenge with a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/companyteams/honeybeecrew.