Enjoying the occasion in a personal capacity were Sir Ben and Lady Georgie Ainslie and their guests.  Photo: Paul Wyeth

Fundraising Dinner: Total sum released by Sail Aid UK for Caribbean regeneration projects

Fundraising Dinner: Total sum released by Sail Aid UK for Caribbean regeneration projects

The Trustees of Sail Aid UK, the organisation that is uniting the UK sailing community in a long-term fundraising drive to help the victims of the Caribbean Islands most severely impacted by the September hurricanes, are overjoyed with the results of their first big fundraising event, the Black Tie/Loud Shirt Dinner held on Saturday night 11th November 2017, which has raised an incredible £46,000.

This inaugural Fundraising event attracted the cream of the UK yachting community and was held in the superb Land Rover BAR headquarters in Old Portsmouth, Hampshire. Sir Ben and Lady Georgie Ainslie attended in a personal capacity and were joined by other big hitters from the world of yacht racing including Giles Scott MBE, David ‘Freddie’ Carr, Andy McLean, Hannah White, Mark Covell, Mike Golding OBE, Brian Thompson, Helena Lucas MBE, Conrad Humphreys and Hannah Stodel.

The 185 guests enjoyed a pre-Dinner drinks reception sponsored by Opihr Gin on the Land Rover BAR Teck Deck before sitting down on the Flight Deck to a sumptuous three-course dinner interspersed with speeches. Then followed the fundraising fun stuff and an awesome LIVE Auction, hosted brilliantly by the inimitable Nick Bonham.

Weaving her way through the evening’s packed schedule was the MC, broadcaster and sailor Hannah White.  One of many high spots was a personal message recorded on video from Antiguan-born singing star Asher Otto who thanked everyone for their superb efforts and sent her support for this incredibly important cause prior to singing one of her latest singles ‘Home’, now officially adopted as the Sail Aid UK anthem. http://bit.ly/AsherOttoHomeSailAidUK

Some of the bigger ticket Auction prizes inevitably involved boats, with some incredibly generous and exciting on-water opportunities being hosted… but there were many land-based delights on offer too.  One such was the presence of Luca Ferron, one of Europe’s finest naval illustrators and model boat craftsmen who flew in from Italy to attend the Dinner.  Producing some of the finest half models and stand alone models in the world, Luca brought with him an original work painted especially for the Sail Aid UK auction. 

The stunning work is a study of Venator, the most beautiful Swan 65 on the water today, having recently won the Prix D’elegance award for most elegant Swan in the 2017 edition of the Swan Rendezvous regatta in Italy.  Luca was inspired to paint Venator as his friend, Philippe Falle who is the skipper, is one of the founding Trustees of Sail Aid UK. His painting raised a superb £1,700.

The Sail Aid UK Trustees, Simon Boulding, Philippe Falle, Liz Lotz, Tara Smyth, Peta Stuart-Hunt and Katie Walker take this opportunity to publicly thank all those who donated the incredible online and LIVE auction prizes and in particular their sponsors and suppliers.

A special mention must go to Sunsail and to The Moorings, and also to Will King for their extraordinary generosity. Their auction items provided over 50% of the total auction revenue.  Thank you also to Land Rover BAR, Vanilla Catering & Events, Opihr Gin, Fever-Tree, Westerhall Rum, Red Handed TV, Hannah White, Nick Bonham, Liberty Wines, Grapefruit, Paul Wyeth, Chris Ison, Maison Samadi, Neptune, Mark Covell, All at Sea, Scuttlebutt Europe, Sailing Networks, Sailing Club Manager, The Yacht Market, and Travel Places.

How and where the funds are being allocated in now being discussed by the Trustees, as is the next opportunity to unite the UK sailing community at another fundraising event in 2018.

Sail Aid UK is awaiting the Charity Commission’s approval of its application and its Charity number to enable it to claim the Gift Aid on all donations to date.

Meanwhile Sail Aid UK is keen to promote its online merchandise, a range of T-shirts that have been specially commissioned, designed and printed to raise funds for Sail Aid UK. These can be purchased direct online here: https://www.sailaiduk.com/shop and would make a fun extra and unusual Christmas present. 

How to get involved
To make an online donation, click here:

To send in your I’m in! #sailaiduk photo message or to make contact with the Sail Aid UK team please email:
[email protected]

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Anyone wishing to get involved in the Sail Aid UK campaign, whether to donate prizes, donate funds or offer support, please email: [email protected]

Photo: Paul Wyeth