The Team E-Lites powerboat crew returned home to a heroes’ welcome in Salcombe after completing their epic 2,000-mile Round Britain Charity Challenge in some of the worst weather conditions the country has seen.
During their 11-day voyage, the team handed out more than £7,000 to nine children’s hospices around the UK. A £3,500 starting donation from E-Lites, the UK’s leading electronic cigarette manufacturer, was doubled by fundraising along the way, including the auctioning of rides in the powerboat and a windfall of unexpected contributions from well wishers who greeted the crew at overnight stop-off points.
But the venture wasn’t without drama, as torrential rain, huge waves and fierce gusts conspired to blow the 38ft BananaShark powerboat off course.
During the violent storm in the North East last week, the crew’s support vehicle came to the aid of an ambulance caught in flash floods and towed it to safety – before speeding off to rescue the family that had called the ambulance in the first place.
Team E-Lites leader John Cooke said: “We had some wonderful times at sea and other times where it was horrendous, but what never changed was the warmth and generosity of the people we encountered when we came ashore. The coastal towns and cities we visited offered incredible support, which really kept us going. We always knew we’d make it to the end, no matter what, but it’s nevertheless a great feeling to reach the end of this adventure, in the knowledge it has helped many hospices to keep up their great work.”
The Team E-Lites Round Britain Charity Challenge was devised after the postponement of this year’s historic RB12 land, sea and air race. The team refused to stand still, and instead launched their own phoenix mission.
Between 21st June and 1st July, Team E-Lites set off from Salcombe and visited Newlyn, Swansea, Stranraer, Troon, Inverness, Edinburgh, Hull, Chatham and Portsmouth, before returning home on the final leg.
The charities that received donations were Little Bridge House in North Devon; Children’s Hospice South West; Ty Hafan, near Cardiff; Rebecca House Hospice, in the Isle of Man; Friends of the Beatson, in Glasgow; Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS); St Andrew’s Children’s Hospice, in Grimsby; Demelza Hospice Care for Children, in Kent; and Naomi House, in Winchester.
Navigation technology to support the Team E-Lites Round Britain Charity Challenge was provided by Raymarine, while video specialist Veho supplied cameras to film the journey.
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E-Lites (www.e-lites.co.uk) was established in the UK in 2007 and is already a leader in its field, producing some of the most advanced electronic cigarettes on the market. The company is expanding nationally and internationally as demand grows for its innovative products. E-Lites’ revolutionary products are the result of extensive UK research and development. The evolution of E-Lites has been supported by significant investment in design and testing to ensure its electronic smoking devices are made to the highest standards and deliver the most authentic and luxurious smoking sensation possible. The company’s manufacturing facility uses the latest state of the art micro-electronic technology, ensuring E-Lites set the standard within the electronic smoking industry. E-Lites is a keen supporter of specialist sports and sponsors a number of individuals and teams in the UK and abroad.
About BananaShark Racing
Kevin Stephens and John Cooke have been building boats together since 1999 and formed BananaShark Ltd in 2003. What has followed is nothing short of incredible with a total of nine British Championships and two speed records. Performance is paramount. The current model, the Stirling 34, is built entirely at the company’s factory in Devon and, with the help of electronics sponsor Raymarine and engines by Yanmar, is not only one of the most technically advanced in terms of technology but also boasts a cutting-edge hull design. For more information, visit www.bananasharkracing.com
About the Stirling 34 Powerboat
- Length: 37’ overall (11.27m)
- Beam: 7’6”
- Powered by: two Yanmar BY 260 3 litres each using 110 litres per hour at 70mph - approximately 1.5 litres per mile
- Drives: Arneson 1721 Surface drives
- Top Speed: 70mph
- Cruising Speed: 50 – 60mph depending on conditions
- Electronics: two networked Raymarine E140 W multifunctional displays linked to a pair of ST70 displays. Two VHF radios. Full AIS system AIS650.
- Seating: Four bucket seats all with 6 point harnesses and 3 litre pony bottles, intercom system and harness cutters.
- Safety: Flare pack. Six man liferaft. Glow in the dark cockpit signage. Led inversion operated lighting. Buoyancy bags. Two manual and one automatic fire extinguishers.
- Photos can be found at our Photobucket page
Raymarine is proud to specialise in marine electronics; this focus ensures it offers equipment that combines industry-leading technology with intuitive robust design, ideally suited to withstand the range of marine conditions that would spell disaster to lesser electronic ranges. Raymarine's world-class test facilities put products through their paces. We shake, bake, freeze and flood products and components to their limit so buyers don't have to find out what those limits are the hard way. Test boat 'Raymariner' and dedicated teams of testers around the world spend thousands of hours at sea to ensure that Raymarine products achieve the high standards set for them and expected by customers. Visit www.raymarine.co.uk
Veho was founded in 2006 in the UK with ambitions to create a fresh and energetic consumer electronics brand. Today, with five global offices and sales distribution in more than 100 countries, Veho is fast becoming a household name for electronics and technology worldwide. Veho does things differently. The company manufactures products that make a statement and stand out from the crowd. Boring is bad and run-of-the-mill is not in Veho’s dictionary. All products are manufactured to the highest standards and conform to worldwide safety regulations. For more information about Veho’s diverse and innovative product range, visit www.veho-uk.com .
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