Jonathan Moon, a Chandlers Ford resident, is due to take part in a fundraising challenge to raise money for St Cross Grange care home in Winchester where his dad currently resides. St Cross Grange specialises in dementia care and is part of Greensleeves Homes Trust, a registered charity providing personalised residential, dementia and nursing care. Mr Moon is undertaking the challenge with the Sail Racing Academy out of Hamble.
Rolex Fastnet Yacht Race Challenge is a 700 mile offshore race starting off Cowes, and finishing in Cherbourg via the Fastnet Rock off the SW tip of Ireland. Jonathan Moon decided to undertake this challenging race just as his dad Paul did 40 years ago on a UFO 31 yacht called “The Happy Return”.
Jonathan Moon said: “I still recall going to watch the start from the Green at Cowes, and the feeling of excitement and worry, after all this was my Dad, my hero, the man who taught me how to sail, heading off into a race that 2 years before had taken the lives of 15 sailors.
Fast forward 40 years, and my Dad now lives in a care home in Winchester with Lewy Body Dementia – the same form that led to the death of the actor Robin Williams.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of him taking part in the Fastnet, and I have decided I should do this race, and by doing so, help raise money for the care home my Dad lives in.”
First conceived way back in 1925 as a 608 nm challenge ending in Plymouth, 2021 will see the end point of the race move to Cherbourg, France, bringing this testing course up to nearly 700 nautical miles and the first major change to the course for nearly 100 years. Seen by many veterans as a number of smaller races encompassed by one big race it has played a large role in the growth of offshore racing and it certainly challenges all of your physical and mental skills.
The race will start from Cowes on the Isle of Wight, around 300 boats pass the Needles, heading along the southern coast of England towards the Lizard then around the tip of Land’s End. From there, the boats will head north through Celtic Sea waters towards the Fastnet Rock on the southern tip of Ireland. Once around the Rock, they will head back southwards, round the Scilly Isles then south east across the English Channel towards Cherbourg. During this time, sailors can face strong tidal flows, Traffic Separation Schemes and changeable weather, from gales to light winds, in their bid to win the race. The participants of the race need to be prepared for anything, as this race will generally throw it all at them.
The money raised from the challenge will go towards purchasing a Tovertafel (Magic Table in Dutch) for the residents at St Cross Grange care home. It is an £7,000 piece of equipment that was developed for and with people in the moderate to severe stages of dementia. The interactive games break through apathy by stimulating both physical and cognitive activity and encouraging social interaction.
Jonathan Moon said of his fundraising challenge: “My Dad is still my hero, and if by my following his footsteps, could possibly help raise the money the home needs to provide the equipment to help enrich his life, and those of all the residents, that is a challenge I am happy to take on.
I will be sailing with Germaine Williams and the team at Sail Racing Academy, and they have generously offered to assist in the fund raising during this Fastnet Cycle.”
If you would like to sponsor Jonathan Moon please visit: https://gofund.me/a0602f45