Boat show sponsor pledges to get children out on the water

Dozens of young people who have faced tough personal challenges will get the chance to experience the thrill of sailing this September thanks to

The company has pledged to run a day of sailing for youngsters as part of its inaugural Regatta. All of those involved will have encountered tough challenges and faced them with strength and courage.

They will get the unique chance to sail on board a fleet of Sunsail Match First 40s on September 18 as part of Regatta. During their day of adventure they will learn about teamwork, safety on the water and how a sail boat works.

The young people will sail in teams of six in an event that has named ‘The Community Cup’. It will sit alongside Regatta’s other racing days; The City Cup, The Women’s Cup and The Property Cup.

CEO and founder of Richard W. Roberts says it’s been a personal ambition of his to be able to give young people the opportunity to try sailing.

He says: “I’m genuinely saddened when I hear how many young people in Southampton haven’t had the chance to try sailing or water sports. We have some of the best waters for racing right on our doorstep yet for some children it has historically been out of reach. I am absolutely thrilled that we’ll be getting the city’s youngsters out on the water this September and I hope they will discover a new love for this fantastic sport.”

The initiative has been made possible thanks to a drive from and a partnership with Southampton City Council’s Children’s Services team.

Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Southampton City Council, Councillor John Jordan says: “The Community Cup is an incredible opportunity for these children, and we are hopeful this will inspire them to take part in more sailing activities in future. Together, we want this to become an annual event that can reach as many children as possible living in Southampton to help connect them with the sea and maritime industries operating on Southampton Water.”

Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine, has welcomed the initiative too. She says: “We’re thrilled to see creating opportunities for young people to get out on the water. We’ll be running several on the water activities inside Southampton Boat Show so we’re excited to hear there’ll be even more going on outside the Show gates.” Regatta will run from September 17 to 19 – during Southampton Boat Show – and feature four cups:

  • The City Cup – pitting teams from cities across the UK against one another for victory on the water
  • The Women’s Cup – a day dedicated to all-female crews
  • The Property Cup – bringing businesses from the property industry together to race on Southampton Water
  • The Community Cup – giving around 36 young people from the city of Southampton a chance to try sailing

Partners of the event include Sunsail, which will provide a fleet of Sunsail Match First 40s, complete with skippers, Rees Leisure and British Marine. Regatta aims to support worthy causes. The Community Cup will be one of the inaugural events launching Southampton City Council’s ‘Child Friendly City’ project. A percentage of entry fees for the wider regatta will be split between Geoff Holt’s Wetwheels and Sail 4 Cancer.

To find out more about the event and sign up to take part either as an individual or team visit Southampton Boat Show takes place from 14-23 September. Tickets are available to buy now. For more information visit:

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