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Fancy spending 88 days sailing the Atlantic?
ORGANISERS of an ambitious sailing challenge which will raise money for one of Somerset's most popular charities say they have been pleased with the interest shown in the venture.
The 'Challenge of a Lifetime' in aid of St Margaret's Hospice will see 160 brave members of the public face up to 88 difficult and exciting days' sailing across the Atlantic Ocean.
So far, over 30 people have expressed an interest and half-a-dozen people have already signed up for the challenge in 2014/15 - with one entrant all the way from Cumbria.
Jon Andrewes, chief executive of St Margaret's, told the Weekly News: “The reality is it has been a difficult time for charities during this period of austerity.
“We've seen some interest wane in some of our more traditional fundraising but what we noticed was that people seemed to keen to help on our more unusual fundraising events.”
One example of this was the treks that St Margaret's Hospice has organised to the Far East.
He added: “Because we were offering a challenge to people, it made it very appealing to them.
“Not only were they helping to raise money for us but they were also getting something back.
“We already have lots of people interested in the first leg of the journey and the ocean legs.”
As well as members of the public, the hospice is also aiming to recruit eight people diagnosed with a life-limiting illness to take part in one of the legs alongside their carer or clinician. Already, two have expressed interest.
Even Mr Andrewes will be taking part, skippering for half of the challenge.
He said: “I still need to do my day job but I did ask could I not just work from the boat instead.”
More volunteers are needed, both to sail and to help with the planning and fund-raising.
Anyone aged 18 and over can take part in the challenge and no previous sailing experience is necessary.
Mr Andrewes added: “It's still quite a way off but there is still so much work to be done.”
For more information visit www.challengeofalifetime.org.uk or call 0845-0342-188.