This year in particular, participants in the ARC feel extremely privileged and fortunate to be able to take part in the rally and to experience the freedom that setting sail across an ocean can give. To this end, many have decided to help those less blessed than themselves by creating awareness and raising funds for a charity close to their hearts. Here we highlight three such entries: British disabled sailor and adventurer, Natasha Lambert and family on Blown Away – sailing for three charities; a French team on Naviguons contre le diabète, and a group of friends coming together on chartered Eden Blue for Life Project 4 Youth.
Natasha Lambert BEM is an extraordinary young women who, with her supportive family; Mum Amanda, Dad Gary, sister Rachel and four friends, will be helping achieve her biggest challenge to date. Natasha, who has Quadriplegic Athetoid Cerebral Palsy, is no stranger to taking on gruelling endeavours in order to raise much needed funds for charity. Her passion for sailing and unwillingness to accept the word ‘can’t’ has seen Natasha achieve feats which most people would have considered impossible; from sailing the seas of Britain, to scaling mountains, she is an unstoppable force and inspiration to many young people of all abilities to challenge themselves. She is also inspiring primary school children back home on the Isle of Wight in the UK, where Brighstone School pupils are closely following her adventures and are sponsoring her by setting their own personal challenges in Lambert Class (named after their hero local sailor).
For Natasha’s Atlantic Challenge, Blown Away, a Nautitech Open 46 has been specially adapted for the Sip Puff technology that allows the 23 year old to control the boat using breaths and her tongue. This challenge was postponed from last year and the excitement around her is absolutely electric - she just cannot wait to get going. Natasha’s spirit and determination is definitely the driving force behind the whole project for the family. “I have cerebral palsy and learnt to sail an adapted boat by breath, using a sip-puff system and a boat converted by my Dad, with lots of technology which is designed to help. I have been sailing for 14 years now and love it. I have worked really hard to get to this stage, along with my family who always support me. I hope to inspire more people by sailing 2,700 miles across the Atlantic with the ARC. I love being useful and I don’t have a job because of my complex needs and the support that I need, but because I have found something I can do. I want to use this to help others as it is really important to me,” continues Natasha whose ambitious fundraising target of £30,000 will be split equally amongst the three charities: Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, RNLI Cowes, and her own MissIsle School of Sip Puff Sailing. Find out more and follow the link to donate: www.missisle.com
On the French-flagged Marsaudon TS42, Naviguons contre le diabète, two colleagues, Cyril Bouvet and Cyrille Chapuis found thy shared a passion for sailing and in 2014, Cyril Bouvet purchased a SunFast 3600 named Force 28 for them to sail together. At the same time, Cyrille Chapuis was diagnosed with diabetes and they decided to use their sailing passion to raise money and awareness of the condition. In 2015, they created the association Naviguons contre le diabète. Over the course of three years their campaign has covered more than 6,000 nautical miles and raised a donation of €20,000 to the two partner patient associations: Espace Diabète 28 and Drôles de Did.
The project for Naviguons contre le diabète runs until 2022 and after sailing with a crew of five in the 2020 ARC, future plans include high level races such as the RORC Caribbean 600, Guyader Trophy, Rolex Fastnet Race, and their ultimate goal; the 2022 Route du Rhum, as well as organising an Atlantic crossing with diabetic children in the future.
Find out more here: https://www.naviguonscontrelediabete.fr/
Jean-Luc Vilde and a group of friends who met as expatriates in Singapore have chartered the 12.58m Fountaine Pajot Astrea 42 catamaran, Eden Blue LP4Y to realise a lifelong dream. They will sail across for two causes; Life Project 4 Youth Sail, and as the fight against plastic water pollution of our seas, they will not take any water bottles onboard but will rely 100% on a LaVie water purifier from the innovative start-up Solable.
As an ambassador in Belgium for the Life Project 4 Youth foundation, the five French sailors are raising awareness of the organisation dedicated to the professional and social integration of young adults living in extreme poverty and exclusion. “By bringing together my group of friends, it is together that we will surpass ourselves and live this incredible adventure! The opportunity to raise funds for LP4Y and to give youths an opportunity to realise their own life project as well, has been a dream come true for me,” explains passionate sailor, Jean-Luc. Several of the crew are also ambassadors for LP4Y in New York and London so the team decided to raise funds and sail under the Life Project 4 Youth (LP4Y) flag to plead this cause. They will also get the news out about this worthy cause between their offices in London, New York, Paris, Brussels, UK.
“The foundation was founded by a French couple around 10 years ago. Touring the world with their children they were shocked by the number of young people they found in slums in suburbs of very poor cities like Jakarta, Manilla and Myanmar. Their children were very upset that they weren’t given an education, a chance to do something with their lives and were often living in extreme poverty on the streets and so on. They asked what they could do to help and the family decided to start the programme which is based on the ethos: Educate, Coach, Put to work,” explains crew member, Patrice Charbon. “There is a recruitment process and the foundation sends coaches from Europe to look after 10 or so young adults between the ages of 17 and 24 who want to do something with their lives and learn a trade, for example,” continued Patrice.
“Life Project 4 Youth has saved over 3,000 young adults from extreme poverty and the alumni group is working well. We have the faces of some of the youths on the hulls of our boat, along with the logo, so we are very proud. The object to is raise 10 Euros for every nautical miles that we sail, so for the 2,700nm ARC rally across to Saint Lucia, around 30,000 Euros will save 20 young adults from poverty,” says Patrice Charbon.
To learn more about Life Project 4 Youth (LP4Y): https://en.lp4y.org/