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First ever Sailors’ Society Asian Challenge raises over US$600k

First ever Sailors’ Society Asian Challenge raises over US$600k

Teams from the shipping industry conquer Mount Kinabalu despite the weather

Torrential rain at the start of the weekend and low cloud did not dampen the spirits of the 40 teams taking part in the first ever Asian Challenge organised by Southampton-based charity, Sailors’ Society. The event turned out to be a major success with a total of more than US$600k pledged on the night.

The event took place between 8 and 11 April and involved the teams from the shipping industry climbing the 4032m Mount Kinabalu in Borneo. All teams successfully climbed to the Laban Rata rest house, 3314m up the mountain where spirits remained high for the over night stay. At 3am on Sunday morning, the teams set off for the summit, which they reached by sunrise and saw for the first time the magnitude of the mountain they had climbed.

Teams were split into two categories; category A did not have porters and carried all of their kit on their own backs, whereas category B did have the support of porters. First place in category A was awarded to the team ‘All mouth, no trousers’ made up of Rory Macdonald from TSI, Kerry Raghnall Deal from Clarksons and Nick Young from Howe Robinson. The Cargill Panamax team were joined by Andreas Ibragim Loftesnes from FIS and were only a few minutes behind in second place, with third place going to Arrow Asia made up of contestants from Arrow Shipbrokers. Cargill Global Ops won category B, with second place taken by The Yeti’s from Cargill and third place going to PCL Shipping.

Director of Fundraising for the Sailors’ Society, Jan Webber was overjoyed with the success of the event, commenting: “This has been a tremendous event for the Sailors’ Society and I am delighted that everyone involved kept such a positive attitude despite the atrocious weather. I would like to say a big thank you to the two main sponsors of the event, Cargill and Rightship, and to Cargill’s Global Cape team who won the Highest Fundraiser trophy for raising an incredible US$50,000. I know that we are all now looking forward to the next Asian Challenge in 2013.”

Other sponsors of the event included Andrew Moore & Associates, who sponsored the Prize Giving Dinner, the Baltic Exchange, Hallin Marine, the American Bureau of Shipping, Weathernews and Hill Dickinson.

It is only like this that allow the Sailors’ Society to offer support to the world’s 1.2 million seafarers who often spend long periods away from home and their loved ones. The charity works tirelessly with a network of Port Chaplains across the world to ease their isolation and ensure that seafarers do not feel forgotten when they are far from home.

For those who have missed this opportunity but would still like to take on a challenge and support the Sailors’ Society at the same time, there is always the Wilderness Challenge to be held on 25 September in Scotland. This event challenges teams to run, bike and canoe in the beautiful area of the Cairngorms; further details can be found at www.sailors-society.org

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