Alverstoke junior sailors take to water for 12-hour marathon to fund new boat

Harriet Millar and Lotti Street sailing off the coast of Alverstoke.
Harriet Millar and Lotti Street sailing off the coast of Alverstoke.
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Budding young sailors completed a mammoth marathon to fund vital new resources for their club.

Grace Russell, 10, and Harriet Millar, 12, led the fundraising effort for St Mary’s Junior Sailing Club, Alverstoke.

Lily Whiting trying out the new Laser Bug boat

Lily Whiting trying out the new Laser Bug boat

Setting off from Stokes Bay at 8am last Sunday, the pair continued to sail in a small Laser Pico sailboat for 12 hours straight.

Although the final amount of money raised is yet to be confirmed, the club has already been able to buy a Laser Bug training vessel for its younger members.

‘We did it!’ cheered Grace as she stepped off the boat at 8pm on Sunday. ‘354 laps over 12 hours, which is 74 miles!’

Her sailing partner Harriet added: ‘It was a really tough, but it was a fantastic day of sailing.

‘I am really pleased to have completed such a difficult challenge and raised money to help keep children having fun on the water at St Mary’s Sailing Club.’

Despite battling gusty winds and choppy waters for much of the day, the crew were not put off by multiple capsizes, and celebrated their epic achievements with bacon sandwiches, cream cakes and doughnuts.

Harriet was also joined during the sponsored sail by fellow club member Lotti Street, 11, who accompanied her friend on the water for nine hours.

Lotti said: ‘I had a great day with Harriet. As the day went on, and more sailors arrived, it became gusty.’

‘The tide was high and most of the sailors ran aground on the road. Since Harriet and I were still sailing, we helped them back to the sailing club beach, but we capsized quite a few times!’

‘Overall, I had a fantastic day and raised more than £100 thanks to my sponsors.’

Harriet added: ‘Thanks to Lotti for keeping me company for a large part of the day, to Grace for keeping up my morale in the last hour and to all the adults for helping throughout the day.’