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Metropolitan Police Sailing Club triumph in Round the Island Winter Fundraising Challenge

By Danny - March 9th, 2023 | Posted in News No comments

Members of Metropolitan Police Sailing Club (MPSC) emerged victorious after competing in the Round the Island Winter Fundraising Challenge, organised by Tall Ships Youth Trust (TSYT).

Three teams took part in the second edition of the annual challenge on Saturday 4 March, battling it out to be the fastest crew to circumnavigate the Isle of Wight onboard one of TSYT’s iconic 72ft Challenger yachts.

As part of the Round the Island Winter Fundraising Challenge, the 35 competitors also accepted the further task of fundraising as much as possible in support of TSYT’s vital youth development work.

After a hard fought race, the team of MPSC members onboard Challenger 3 – who sailed alongside members of London’s Little Ship Club (LSC) under the moniker Ashes to Ashes, after the police TV drama of the same name – triumphed against Life on Mars, comprising fellow MPSC and LSC representatives, onboard Challenger 2 and last year’s champions from Worthing Sailing Club – AKA Team Worthingonboard Challenger 1.

MPSC Administrator and race participant, Lee Giffard, said:

“Despite the very cold weather and forecasts of little wind, 23 of our members had a brilliant weekend of sailing on the very impressive Challenger yachts, whilst raising valuable funds for the amazing Tall Ships Youth Trust.

From the moment we boarded, the skippers and staff made us really welcome and gave excellent instructions on what to do, and following an afternoon of training we were ready for the race.

Lining up outside Cowes for the start, Ashes to Ashes went straight to the front and it was great to see Life on Mars taking second place. On the return, passing Hurst Castle, the tide was against us which allowed Life on Mars to close the gap, and from there it was neck-and neck to the finish but Ashes to Ashes won by a few boat lengths. Then onto dinner and celebrations at the Island Sailing Club!

What a great weekend, and all for a worthy cause – we hope to see everyone back next year.”

TSYT Skipper, Sue Geary, who helmed the winning team, added:

Team Ashes to Ashes proved themselves to be spirited racers, determined to get maximum speed – and maximum fun – out of Challenger 3, despite the light winds. Thanks to the other teams for a great race!

The 40-nautical mile race started and ended at Gurnard North Cardinal, with Challenger 3 completing the course in just over seven hours. The teams then came together to enjoy a celebratory dinner and trophy presentation at the prestigious Island Sailing Club in Cowes.

In addition to commemorating Ashes to Ashes‘ success in the race, each of the Challengers’ skippers nominated a member of their respective crews for the Spirit Award – championing the individual who made the biggest contribution to the race or showed particular resilience in the face of the challenge.

This year’s Spirit Award recipients are Sally Ann Hayes (Challenger 1), Samuel Forsyth (Challenger 2) and Caroline Jagger-Young (Challenger 3).

The current fundraising total for the event currently stands at over £2,500, with donations continuing to come in. These funds will support a life-changing weekend experience at sea for at least 10 young people with TSYT.

Heather Allan, organiser of the Round the Island Winter Fundraising Challenge, said:

“It was an absolute pleasure to welcome members from Metropolitan Police Sailing Club and Little Ship Club, alongside the returning champions from Worthing Sailing Club, onboard our Challengers to participate in this exciting and challenging race.

“The competitors’ hard work, both out on the water and in their fundraising efforts, are crucial in our mission to enable even more young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to benefit from our transformational voyages.

Thank you to all of the participants in this year’s challenge, and to the team at Island Sailing Club for hosting an incredible celebration dinner event. We hope to welcome back MPSC as reigning champions next year!

Check out some of the photos from this year's Round the Island Winter Fundraising Challenge below:

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