On a freezing cold morning last week, Challenge Wales slipped the lines from Penarth Marina and headed out into the Bristol Channel.
What was different about this sailing trip was that it was the first big fundraising trip of the year.
When Challenge Wales isn’t working (sail training) with young people, she offers adults the opportunity to sail her. Quite often the people who will join us on these trips are those wishing to be volunteer crew but also it is those who just want to try a new challenge in life, or simply have a go at big boat sailing. It is also these trips which help fund the charity while the charity develops and grows.
The trip last week was seen as the ultimate away trip for rugby fans, who had an interest in sailing. The trip would be heading past West Wales, across the Irish Sea and into Dublin for the six nations Ireland vs Wales clash. As it happened although most of those onboard had a passion for rugby, not everyone had a passion for sailing and was a first big boat sailing experience for them.
Despite the level of sailing experience onboard Challenge Wales everyone had a fantastic time sailing over to Dublin and fundraising trips like this raises awareness of what the charity is really about. The skills that young people learn whilst sail training with us include teamwork, communication, leadership, self-confidence and is about putting people into a challenging yet positive environment with a real earned sense of achievement as you reach your next port….and this is also what adults get out of Challenge Wales too. Even if they don’t realise it.
The rest of our sailing trips into Ireland will be with young people this year. But we will still have shorter adult fundraising voyages in the schedule for sailors and non-sailors to enjoy, namely day sails, and a sailing voyage or two to Lundy Island or Bristol.
Well done to Wales on their win against Ireland today. Lets just say the atmosphere on board Challenge Wales when she departs Dublin tomorrow for Cardiff will be electric and we will be flying our 8 foot Welsh flag with pride.