The line up of skippers reads like a Who's Who in sailing and includes the Olympians Shirley ROBERTSON (GBR), Ben AINSLIE (GBR), Iain PERCY (GBR) and Steve MITCHELL (GBR). Vendée Globe heroes Nick MOLONEY (AUS) and Alex THOMSON (GBR) have also signed up, together with Around Alone heroine Emma RICHARDS (GBR) and Sydney-Hobart winner Grant WHARINGTON (AUS).
Commenting on the impending Challenge, Sail 4 Cancer Trustee Richard GROOME said, 'This is a great opportunity for members of the public to get involved in sailing and learn from the best of the best.'
Anyone can enter, experienced or otherwise! Tickets for the crew draw will be available online http://www.sail4cancer.org/stars from Friday 22 July and also during Skandia Cowes Week at the Sail 4 Cancer stands in Cowes Yacht Haven and Shepards Wharf.
The Challenge, supported by Skandia, will take place in Cowes Harbour, with perfect viewing for spectators on Cowes Parade, under the watchful eye of the UKSA. Each crew, made up of a sailing legend and a lucky raffle winner, will compete in 'round the cans' races in six identical RS Visions, the new rotomoulded wonder from LDC Racing Sailboats.
Henri-Lloyd, Official Technical Clothing Supplier to Skandia Cowes Week, has given each sailing 'star' a Henri-Lloyd Foil Jacket to wear for the event. After sailing, each Henri-Lloyd jacket will be signed by the sailing celebrity who wore it and all the jackets will then be put up for auction on www.sail4cancer.com and www.skandiacowesweek.co.uk.
Tim SEWELL, Skandia's Sponsorship Manager, said, 'It's great to see so many top sailing stars at Skandia Cowes Week supporting Sail 4 Cancer in this race. As well as helping to raise money, the Challenge is also a great way to show people how much fun sailing is'.
Sail 4 Cancer was set up by a group of keen sailors who have lost a close relative or friend to cancer in recent years and aims to raise funds for cancer treatment and research through the organisation of high profile sailing events. Sail 4 Cancer also provides sailing opportunities for cancer patients and their families with the aim of improving their quality of life. Sail 4 Cancer is the Official Charity of the Skandia Set Sail programme and has operations in both the UK and Australia.