As the combined Forces are currently battling around the Isle of Wight in aid of Help for Heroes, Amanda Van Santen has been in touch to tell us about someone who did it yesterday!
At 6:30am on Wednesday 15th September, most of us were still tucked up in our duvets…..well I know I was, Tim Hazel was on his way out of Walsash in an attempt to Windsurf around the Isle of Wight in support of the Naomi House Children’s Hospice.
Naomi House Children’s Hospice is a charity that provides support to children and young people with conditions that mean they are unlikely to live to become adults.
The charity provides care to families living in communities across the seven counties of Berkshire, Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Surrey, West Sussex and Wiltshire http://www.naomihouse.org.uk/ .
The island is 67miles in circumference, a bit further when you add in a few necessary tacks and gybes – windsurfing around the Island is a challenge that has been considered by many windsurfers, especially after a few beers on a Friday night, but achieved by very few!
With a forecast of SW 20 to 24knts, it was never going to be easy, but accompanied by a sturdy support crew, Nick Daniels, to keep up morale and spirit…….plus updating Facebook for the avid followers of us, he had lots of backing!
His journey began with a beat up the Western Solent, an increasing wind and a call for the first sail change to a 7.5m – all before most of us had had our first morning cuppa! The target was to reach the needles by 9:30 and he wasn’t far off it.
For anyone that has sailed a Raceboard, you will know that they are no mean feat to sail, but throw in an average of 20knts and developing swell and you have a challenge similar to that of an untamed beast on your hands!!
After a further sail change East of the Needles, Tim made his way round the back of the Island to St Catherine’s Point, home of the famous lighthouse and wavesailing spot Niton. At this point, I think the support crew were in need of a little TLC, the swell was pretty big!
Lunchtime views were Ventnor then Shanklin…….and a very wet iPhone!! But with Tim’s drive to successfully complete his challenge he rounded the Eastern end of the Island, passing Bembridge mid-afternoon. With a final push past the Forts, he finally completed the challenge just after 1700hrs, arriving home in a fantastic time of 10hrs 34mins after his journey began – Congratulations!!
But this is merely a warm up.…….while most of us would have been happy celebrating this fantastic achievement, Tim is already planning his next adventure – Cherbourg to the Southampton Boat Show – watch this space for September 2011!
If you would like to support Tim and Naomi House, donations can be made via ‘just giving’ on: http://www.justgiving.com/Timothy-Hazel-Windsurfing