Thank you from Robert Munns on behalf of the Oceans of Hope Challenge
For those of you who attended the Commodore’s Dinner in December 2015 you may remember that a friend of the Commodore, Robert Munns (pictured) spoke about sailing with multiple sclerosis (MS) how his sail across the Pacific with Sailing Sclerosis had rejuvenated and inspired him and how he was putting together a project to give others with MS an opportunity to experience something similar. His plan was to put together a flotilla for those affected by MS. We held a collection raising a credible £668 which contributed to the success of the project. Below is a thank you received from Robert:
“It’s been just over three weeks since we hosted the first Oceans Of Hope Challenge in Gocek, Turkey and I’ve had the chance to let the enormity of the project soak in.
The week of sailing for people with MS was a huge success. In the end we had six boats instead of the proposed 5. Each boat had 6 crew and one skipper. So with two of the skippers having MS, 38 people had the opportunity to come away and be with others who’s lives are compromised by this disease.
Together we achieved things that did not seem possible before.
People from 8 countries were given the opportunity to share experiences and talk together as well as sail together, but most importantly to work together to achieve some form of greatness again.
I could give you countless examples of how lives have been affected by the week of sailing, but I’ll just give you one or two along with some memorable photos.
Bill: Bills concern was not being able to walk more than 20 yards without having to get into his wheelchair. As the week went on, I witnessed him slowly leaving the wheelchair behind as his spirit and strength started to soar. This is a guy who has relied on the immense support of his family and his wheelchair in order to just leave his house. Now, he has a new found awareness of what is possible. (it’s more than just a new lease of life, it’s a confirmation that normality has not disappeared. In the right conditions, he can still look after himself. This is vital to his spirit) .
Another example is a quote from one of the participants. “I arrived in my wheelchair, I managed to get in the boat. I got on my knees and helped sail the boat. I stood on my feet and I moved with the boat, I felt at one with the boat. I felt free”
To have seen these transformations was overwhelming to me. I wished you could have met some of these heroes and witnessed the sea-change and power within them.
It was late last summer that I first conceived this idea and it was shortly after that, you helped me realise the idea. Not only by your financial contribution, but also your faith in me. For both of these, I am thankful.
The founder of Sailing Sclerosis joined us for the week as a skipper and was very impressed by the spirit of empowerment that continued with such vitality throughout the week.
My journey with The Oceans Of Hope Challenge has only just begun. I hope to continue giving others the opportunity to come sailing next year on the second Oceans Of Hope Challenge. Without your faith in me, I would never have thought this possible.
Robert is organising another challenge for 2017 and has chartered 10 yachts in Croatia. If you or someone you know is effected by MS why not join the 2017 challenge:
Oceans of Hope Challenge 2016