Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, received the cheque on behalf of the Save the Children fund
The BT Global Challenge, which finished on 2 July 2001, after a 7 leg race around the world was won by LG Flatron.
On 15 July, the BT Global Challenge hosed a high profile Celebration Ball held in the Grosvenor House Hotel, London. The Ball marks the end of the famous round-the-world yacht race and marks the fundraising efforts of all involved. The BT Global Challenge presented Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, President of Save the Children with a cheque for £950,000.
The crew and sponsors of the race participated in fundraising activities held in all corners of the globe before and during the 10-month race.
Many crew volunteers, including BT employees who participated in the race, each raised over £5,000 for the charity. At the Ball, three of the top crew fundraisers were delighted to learn that they will join a ten-day visit to projects in Asia supported by Save the Children.
As part of the worldwide fundraising initiatives, international rugby legends from each port of call - Richard Hill, England; Andre Vos, South Africa; John Eales, Australia; Sean Fitzpatrick, New Zealand; Abdel Benazzi, France; Agustin Pichot, Argentina and Dan Lyle, USA put aside on-field rivalry to help raise money for the charity. In support of the world's toughest yacht race, the group of internationals signed a promotional rugby ball that followed the yachts to each of the ports of call as they raced 30,000 miles against the prevailing winds and currents. The rugby ball was part of the final fundraising auction at the Ball with all proceeds going to Save the Children.
Mike Aaronson, Director General, Save the Children (UK) commented at the Ball; "The fundraising smashed through the initial target before the race even started and has gone on to raise so much more than we expected. As the official race charity, Save the Children has been very fortunate to have had the support of Challenge Business, BT, sponsors and crews of the race. It has been a truly international effort with money raised in countries as far afield as Canada, Australia, Argentina, New Zealand and the UK. The funds raised represent a huge contribution to Save the Children's work, helping to give some of the world's most disadvantaged children a better start in life."
HRH the Princess Royal, Sir Peter Bonfield BT's Chief Executive Officer, and Sir Chay Blyth, Executive Chairman of Challenge Business were joined by senior executives from the other companies involved in the race as well as ex-Pans People dancer, Babs Powell, crew volunteer on Veritas.
The evening began with a champagne reception for the 1,300 guests. Throughout the evening snippets of the race were broadcast on huge screens within the room. Highlights of the event included footage of the amazingly close racing, a performance by a group of Maori dancers, a personal message from the Mayor of Wellington, New Zealand and a moving recital of Shosoloza, a traditional song performed by the John Parma school choir from South Africa, where Archbishop Desmond Tutu blessed the waves.