Aldingbourne Trust will benefit from yacht race

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A YACHT crew raised £1,000 for the Aldingbourne Trust by conquering the Isle of Wight.

Walberton yachting journalist Barry Pickthall skippered the Sea Jay in the annual yacht race around the island earlier this month.

The 1965 vintage 72ft varnished wooden cruising yacht took just over nine hours to circumnavigate the island.

It was among the 1,459-strong fleet which started from Cowes at 6.20am and jostled for position around such landmarks as The Needles and St Catherine’s Point.

Barry said: “It was a fantastic race. One of the largest mass participation events in the country and we are very thankful to everyone who contributed towards our cause.

“The money raised will go towards local charity Aldingbourne Trust, which supports over 200 adults with learning disabilities.

“The trust, and many of the people it supports, have lost out badly in the cuts in care support for vulnerable people imposed by West Sussex County Council.

“The trust has embarked on an ambitious plan to build a conference centre, shop and new facilities at its Aldingbourne Country Centre near Fontwell that will make the charity and its clients less reliant on government funding.”

His crew on Sea Jay were Dick New from Fontwell, Bart Bridgen from Aldingbourne and international sailing coach Dan Jaspers from Southampton.

The Round the Island Race is an annual sailing extravaganza which dates back to 1931 and always attracts a large entry.

This year’s was one of the best in living memory. Moderate northerly winds provided the fleet with a fast passage which saw Sir Ben Ainslie record the first sub-three hour time.