The Forces Windsurfing Challenge: 'imagine you are piloting an aircraft'

Windsurfing teams from The Army, Royal Navy and RAF are planning an attempt to circumnavigate the Isle of Wight both as individuals and as relay teams.

The attempt will be undertaken during the period 13-19 September with the aim of raising funds for the following charities; Help for Heroes, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, The Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity and the RAF Benevolent Fund.

The Inspiration

Rifleman Craig Wood is a keen windsurfer who, following injuries sustained during Op HERRICK, is a triple amputee. His ambition is to windsurf again and this inspired the Forces windsurfing community to complete an arduous windsurfing challenge to raise money for Craig and those like him to assist them in their recovery.

The Mission: around the Isle of Wight

To windsurf across the English Channel is 22 miles across the wind and so averaging 15 knots would take less than 90 minutes. To windsurf from Dublin to Anglesey is 55 miles downwind and would take just over 3 hours. To circumnavigate the Isle of Wight with a circumference of 58 miles requires the challenger to sail on every point of the wind, combat very strong tides and infamous sea states. Therefore, the minimum distance is estimated to be at least 100 miles. In addition, having to beat upwind and sail off the wind the average speed will be lower than across the wind sailing so depending on the actual distance covered, wind and tide the challenge could take over 10 hours.

Fund Raising

The primary charity is Help for Heroes, who will receive 70% of the profits from funds raised. The remaining 30% will be divided equally to each Service’s benevolent fund: ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, The Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity and the RAF Benevolent Fund.

Sponsorship

The challenge requires help in many areas, commercial sponsorship, support RIBs, motor cruisers/yachts, accommodation on the Isle of Wight, vehicles etc. It will require manpower to assist in the challenge as well as raising funds for the charities.