Toe in the Water uses competitive sailing to re-inspire injured Service personnel to see beyond their injuries, and perform to their limits regardless of their physical condition. It supports the recovery and rehabilitation of wounded, injured and sick soldiers by providing the opportunity to get active, learn new skills and be welcomed into a team environment on board one of their racing yachts. Teams are selected from cohorts undergoing rehab at Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Headley Headley Court and are entered into high profile races every year against able-bodied and often far more experienced crews.
The Endeavour Fund supported Toe in the Water to enter two boats in this year’s ‘Round the Island Race.’ The race takes place annually with waves of boats in different classes launching from Cowes in a 50mile sprint right around the Isle of Wight. The participants were tested both physically and mentally and their new skills were challenged in a highly charged and competitive environment.
“I had the pleasure to skipper a crew of injured service personnel on board a competitive race yacht during the Round the Island Race. I saw before my eyes, individuals grow in confidence and rise to the challenge with the bit between their teeth. As a result, they went home at the end of the day proud of their achievement and determined to look forward to the next chapter of their lives. The Endeavour fund made a fundamental difference to many people’s lives that day and I am grateful to have helped alongside the recovery process…”DEE CAFFARI MBE: THE FIRST WOMAN TO SAIL SINGLE-HANDEDLY AND NON-STOP AROUND THE WORLD “THE WRONG WAY”; WESTWARD AGAINST THE PREVAILING WINDS AND CURRENTS.
Both boats did exceptionally well, with one boat skippered by Dee Caffari (Dee was the first woman to single-handedly sail around the world against prevailing winds) finishing 23rd out of 58 boats in IRC Class 0 and the second skippered by Captain Lloyd Hamilton finishing in 19th, the best ever finish for that boat, beating the six hour barrier, considered by many to be a professional time.