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Lymington sailors crossing the Channel in tiny WASZP dinghies for the NHS

Lymington sailors crossing the Channel in tiny foiling WASZP dinghies.

Creating a buzz with fellow French sailors to raise funds for the NHS and Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris.

The Foil For Life Challenge ready for the off - photo by James TomlinsonAt 0700 on Friday 14 August 2020, two intrepid young Lymington sailors set off on their challenge of crossing the English Channel in tiny WASZP dinghies. Hattie Rogers (20) and William Heathcote (17), both members of the Royal Lymington Yacht Club, will be joined by British teammate Edward Higson from Draycote Water Sailing Club, and three sailors from France: Pierre Leboucher, Mael Garnier and Corentin Horeau.

Track the sailors here during their incredible foiling challenge: https://www.foilforlife.com/tracking

Raising funds for the NHS and APHP

Driven by a spirit of adventure, the team has organised their 'Foil for Life Challenge' with the aim of crossing the English Channel between Lymington and Le Havre, a route of 103 miles with an estimated 10 hours of foiling. They will be raising funds for the UK's National Health Service (NHS) and the French Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris (APHP).

The sailors have been training hard to ensure they have the endurance needed for what will undoubtedly be an arduous sail, but their determination to raise money for the two great causes is spurring them forwards. The team has also been working hard to bring sponsors on board to cover costs, ensuring that all funds donated will go to the charities.

The Foil for Life Challenge in aid of NHS and ADAPIf you are able to support the team in their arduous challenge, a donation to the NHS can be made on their website, www.foilforlife.com

Founder of the challenge Hattie Rogers said: "This challenge was able to be planned due to not having any international events this summer because of Covid-19. One of the best things about the Waszp class is the community feel. It is such a great opportunity to bring the British and French Waszp communities together and do something for charity.

"Covid-19 has highlighted the amazing work both the NHS and Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris (APHP) does and how lucky we are to have them. We want to raise as much money as possible. The reason we have chosen these charities is to deepen the meaning behind this challenge in showing the French and British sailing community relationship, despite Brexit and any political arrangements.

"The challenge route will be between Lymington and Le Havre which is 103 miles so around 10 hours of foiling! It is going to be tough, but I am so excited! We really want to show how amazing foiling is and the capabilities of the Waszp, as well as making a difference to lives with the money that has been raised."

Hattie Rogers out in her WASZP photo Charles Whiteman www.sleek.picturesSafety is paramount and the team will have three support RIBs in attendance throughout the crossing. A huge amount of work is going into ensuring that the challenge can be completed responsibly and in a Covid-secure manner. Choosing a day with suitable weather has been key, with a 10-15 knot South Westerly wind being optimal.

Using historical weather data, a window of 12 - 20 August was selected and, current conditions indicate that the team will depart on Friday 14 August. 

The Foil for Life Challenge by Lemer Pax

Since announcing the Foil for Life Challenge on the 19th July, the team has been working hard to organise the logistics, drum up support, create safety plans, train and raise funds. A major milestone was reached last week with the announcement of Lemer Pax as the title sponsor for the challenge. The support of Lemer Pax ensures that every single Euro and Pound raised will go to the NHS and Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris (APHP).

William Heathcote A worldwide leader in innovation in the radiation protection sector, Lemer Pax creates, designs, and engineers efficient radiation protection solutions for healthcare, research, industry, and nuclear applications. With over 50 years of innovation, Lemer Pax exports all over the world, eco-aware and cutting edge of technology radiation protection products. The company strives for excellence to protect the most important thing: Life!

Hattie said: "I am so delighted that Lemer Pax has come onboard as the title sponsor for our Foil for Life Challenge. They are a perfect match! From a lockdown vision just a few weeks ago to becoming a reality, it's just amazing and I now hope that we can not only achieve our marathon goal of foiling from Lymington to Le Havre, but also raise as much money as possible for the NHS and APHP via the www.foilforlife.com website.

Hattie Rogers Max Dooley www.instagram.comthemaxdooley A massive thank you must also go to our Silver and Bronze sponsors and to all those who have sponsored in kind and to those who have offered their time and their RIBs as safety support boats. Now we just have to send it!"

If you are able to support the team with a donation to the NHS, visit www.foilforlife.com.

Follow the team as they foil across the channel via @FoilForLife on Twitter. You will also be able to follow the sailors' progress via YB Tracking devices on each of the boats.

Foil for Life Challenge by Lemer Pax supporters:

Title Sponsor; Lemer Pax; Silver Sponsor: The Delphie Lakeman Trust, Isle of Wight; Bronze Sponsors: Andrew McIrvine, WASZP, Royal Ocean Racing Club, Le Havre Yacht Club, Royal Lymington Yacht Club; Sponsors in kind: Ocean Safety, YB Tracking, Sailing Fast, Zhik, YachtsandYachting.com & Sail-World.com.

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