On 3 June 2004 eight hundred and fifty guests gathered at the London Hilton on Park Lane for a spectacular evening of fun and fundraising at the Sail for Gold Ball 2004.
Hosted by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal KG GCVO, the highlight of the evening was the presentation of the British Olympic and Paralympic sailing teams.
Following receptions sponsored by Veuve Clicquot, Mount Gay and Helical Bar guests moved into the Ballroom ready for the formal presentation of the Athens 2004 Team GB. Amongst the fireworks and fanfare, leading sailing commentator Richard SIMMONDS compèred the evening's presentations which gave guests a truly exceptional insight into what inspires our Olympic and Paralympic team sailors and how they have been preparing for the challenges ahead in Athens.
Davina MCCALL of Channel Four's 'Big Brother' later took to the stage to preview "for Gold" by Kos, the 2005 Calendar that shows Britain's Olympic and Paralympic team sailors as you've never seen them before! The calendar will be officially launched later in the year. Davina is a huge supporter of the Sail for Gold campaign and exhorted the audience to dig deep and give generously to help ensure Britain's sailors have the financial support they need for success in Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and beyond.
The highlight of the evening's fundraising activities was the Sail for Gold Auction, run by guest Auctioneer Nick BONHAM, which exceeded all expectations and raised over £70,000.
Other fundraising activities on the night included the Sail for Gold Raffle, the Bolle Lucky Programme Draw and the Sail for Gold After Dinner Gym. In total an amazing and record breaking £100,000 was raised on the night.
As Stephen PARK, British Olympic Team Manager explains, 'The money generated from the Sail for Gold Ball provides invaluable income to the Olympic yachting fund, which focuses on those projects that will put the cream on the cake and make a vital medal winning difference'.
Following dinner, guests enjoyed dancing to the Alpha Connection big band in the Ballroom whilst Olympic Silver Medallist Mark COVELL did a special guest DJ set in the Sail for Gold Night Club.
Special thanks must go to Sail for Gold Principal Sponsor Peter Harrison; Supporting Sponsors Peters & May and Pindar; Official Suppliers APP Broadcast, iMeta, Mount Gay Rum and Veuve Clicquot; Corporate Hospitality Sponsors Computershare, Alfred McAlpine Business Services, Neilson, Payne Hicks Beach and Skandia and to all our Auction Lot and Prize donors without whose contributions the Sail for Gold Ball could not have taken place.
The Sail for Gold campaign continues throughout 2004. The next major fundraising activity in the programme will be the Sail for Gold Bar at Skandia Cowes Week from 7-14 August. Located on the Parade in Cowes a percentage of all profits from the bar will go to the Sail for Gold campaign, so if you plan on being at Skandia Cowes Week please drop in.