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Weymouth keelboat championships to raise vital funds
KEELBOATS will be racing along the Jurassic Coast this summer raising money for good causes.
The Yacht Clubs of Weymouth (YCW) groups are organising the Weymouth Keelboat Championships in August.
In a change from previous years, this year’s event will see five days of racing, enabling sailors to race longer distances and there will be feeder races from Poole and the Solent.
The YCW has joined forces with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and will be raising money for them during the event which runs from August 14 to 18 and the Trust will be promoting the event.
The trust, established by Dame Ellen MacArthur in 2003, aims to inspire confidence in young people who are in recovery from cancer and serious illness.
Every year the trust takes hundreds of young people from all over the UK sailing for the first time, as well as offering return to sail activities for those who have sailed with them before.
A spokesman for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust said the money would go towards helping the charity continue its work.
The spokesman said: “We are really pleased this event will raise our profile and raise some funds.”
He added: “We are entirely funded by voluntary donations. Every penny that we can raise allows us to work with more young people.”
Yacht Clubs of Weymouth chairman Stephen Dadd said they were hoping to raise around £500 this year for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust but that their commitment would be an ongoing one.
He said: “To be honest, this is a long term thing. It’s not a one off – it’s something we hope to build on.”
He added that it was about promoting the area and encouraging yachtsmen and visitors.
He said: “It’s trying to get sailors from Solent and Poole to come and enjoy the facilities and spend money in the town.”
The charity will join a list of those assisted by the YCW, other charities include the Chesil Trust and MV Freedom.
The Chesil Trust helps to get young and disabled people out on the water to experience the joy of sailing and MV Freedom takes trips out of Weymouth harbour letting disabled people experience the thrill of the sea.
The race area will cover from West Bay and Chesil Cove to Swanage and people will be able to watch the action from along the Jurassic Coast.
Evening races are being put on so that visitors and competitors have the chance to explore Weymouth and Portland during the day.
Mr Dadd added: “The emphasis is on relaxing, racing and revelry.
“The race programme is deliberately organised so that visiting sailors can spend time in Weymouth and Portland to benefit the borough.”
Mr Dadd said he hoped the race would grow year on year and encourage more people down each time.
For more information visit weymouthregatta.co.uk