Fundraisers aim to purchase safety boats for disabled

WORKING HARD:  Project Zöe organisers Hugh de Iongh, Sara Lloyd, Diana Gill and Anya de Iongh

WORKING HARD: Project Zöe organisers Hugh de Iongh, Sara Lloyd, Diana Gill and Anya de Iongh

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FUNDRAISERS are hoping to buy new equipment for disabled sailors.

Project Zöe is aiming to provide Chesil Sailability, based in Portland, with its own safety boats.

The Castle Cove Sailing Club Ladies Sailing Group took on the challenge of raising £6,000 in six months from March.

Through fundraising and donations, they’ve raised over £6,380 to buy a Hansa 303 boat called Spirit of Zöe.

Diana Gill, who is overseeing the project, said they were still keen to add to this total and raise money for a new Rib.

She said: “Project Zöe was initiated because Chesil Sailability was working with borrowed boats last year and needed a fleet of boats.

“We have been working on borrowed Ribs so Chesil Sailability is in desperate need of its own Rib for safety purposes.”

Chesil Sailability is based at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. It provides disabled people with the opportunity to sail.

Project Zöe is inspired by the memory of Zöe Wright, a skilled sailor who grew up in Weymouth and fought cancer for most of her adult life.

She died on New Year’s Eve last year, aged 38, after an eight-month battle with a metastatic high grade endometrial sarcoma, a rare incurable form of cancer.

Zöe had already beaten leukaemia twice as a teenager. In her early 30s, she beat cancer yet again after having thyroid cancer. She was a member of Castle Cove and in recent years was a keen runner, taking part in Parkruns all over the country.

In July 2012, she was an Olympic torchbearer, carrying the torch through Canterbury.

Sara Lloyd, Zöe’s mother said: “It was just the way she used to go for life. She was a sailor and did lots of outdoor sports. She looked on the bright side of everything.

“The generosity and donations we’ve had have been amazing.”

Project Zöe is organising two events this month in the hope to raise more money.

An Auction of Promises will be held on Saturday, May 17, at Frampton Village Hall, whilst Smallmouth Cove Fete will take place on the Rodwell Trail on Saturday, May 24.

For more details, visit chesilöe.

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