Nab Challenge sailors are ready for action

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For the organisers of the 11th St Wilfrid’s Hospice Nab Challenge this Saturday (September 22), it will be all hands on deck for a truly Olympian effort to exceed the record sum raised by last year’s event.

Organised by the Inn-Shore Cruising Club and sponsored by Chichester-based boiler distributor ATAG Heating UK, this popular event has now raised over £128,000 for the hospice.

Organisers hope massive interest in sailing following the success of Team GB’s sailors in the Olympics will inspire more competitors to take part in this year’s challenge and raise contributions to even higher levels.

The race offers competitors a great day’s racing, which is fun, safe and something the whole family can enjoy. The challenge takes place over a 12 nautical-mile course from a start line just outside Chichester Harbour, around the Nab Tower and back and attracts entrants from sailing clubs throughout Sussex and beyond.

“Plans are well advanced for this year’s event”, said ISCC spokesman Patrick Doyle.

“We’re keen to attract as many entrants as possible and have started leafleting local yachting clubs to raise awareness and drum up support.

“There’s a nominal entry fee of £20 per boat and entrants can get any number of people and organisations to sponsor them and their crew.

“With online facilities for making contributions, we have made it as easy as possible.”

Among those bidding for sailing and fundraising honours will be Father Stuart Cradduck, of St George’s Church, Chichester, and Ashley Hatton, a sailing instuctor who runs Chichester Harbour Turtles.

Hatton said: “I was impressed with Fr Stuart’s determination to undertake this challenge, given he had absolutely no sailing experience, and so agreed to find him a yacht and accompany him.

“The weekend before last, Fr Stuart successfully completed a level one dinghy sailing course in Langstone Harbour.

“We’re hoping Observer readers will support us. They can fill in the sponsorship form at the back of his church or email a St Wilreds charity pledge to rector@whyke.info.

“Anyone interested in offshore baptisms and marriages might also be accommodated if they are prepared to make a big enough charity pledge!”

The hospice has annual running costs of £5.1m, with only 15 per cent funded by the NHS. Contributions from the Inn-Shore Cruising Club and other local support groups are vital to ensure that it continues to provide an important service to the local community.

Since opening in 1987, it has cared for more than 10,000 local people.

For further information on how you can participate in the Nab challenge, contact Patrick Doyle at coastal@innshorecruisingclub.co.uk or on 07801 819884.