In his day job as a cook at the Boathouse Bistro at Gosport Marina, Simon Rowe hears plenty of sailors’ tales. This month he decided the time had come to embark on a trip of his own in a bid to raise £500 for a charity close to his heart, Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF).
“I’ve wanted to make a long- distance dinghy sail for a number of years,” explains 40 year old Simon, who lives in Gosport. “I used to go to a sailing club as a child and a few years’ ago bought a regatta sailing dinghy which has only been out about five times. I decided it was time to correct this and knew that making the trip for CLDF would gave me added motivation. My nine year- old niece was born with the rare liver disease, biliary atresia. Thankfully due to early surgery and excellent care she is doing really well now, but I know how important the support of this charity is for families in this situation and wanted to give something back.”
Simon set off from Gosport and, although his original plan was to sail 100 nautical miles to Brixham, light winds and a five mile exclusion zone around Lulworth forced him to stop at Kimmeridge Bay on day three. However, not only did he emerge from his adventure unscathed, he smashed his fundraising target and raised over £650 for CLDF.
“I hadn’t really allowed for how exhausting my adventures would be,” admits Simon. “Nevertheless, for a novice sailor I am quite proud of my achievements and feel that although I ended up in the water more than I may have liked, I did alright. When I reached the calm and safety of Kimmeridge Bay I did say that I was done with adventure. On reflection though, I think I may try and finish this trip next year but this time with some company!”
Alison Taylor, Chief Executive of Children’s Liver Disease Foundation commented: “CLDF is the only UK charity dedicated to fighting all childhood liver diseases, by providing information and emotional support, funds for research and a voice for all those affected. In order to do this however, we rely almost entirely on voluntary donations, so we are delighted and very grateful to hear of Simon’s fundraising efforts and are especially relieved to know that he is safely back on dry land!”
You can still support Simon’s sailing adventure by going to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/solosailingadventure.
For more information on CLDF visit childliverdisease.org.