Tuesday 10th April 2012
Two sailors whose plans for an extreme nautical challenge were scuppered due to bad weather are preparing to try again.
David Summerville and Steve Cockerill will attempt to cross the Irish Sea in two single handed Laser class dinghies, which each measure four metres in length.
The duo had planned to make the crossing in September, but 50 knot gale force winds and a 12-foot tidal swell forced them to cancel their plans. Now, they are waiting for a window of good weather before they begin the voyage which they hope will raise £50,000 for charity.
David, who grew up in Rawlinson Road, Southport, and attended Christ the King Catholic High School in Stamford Road, is a championship sailor, winning regional and national titles in the UK and the Middle East.
His efforts, backed by Ramada Plaza Southport, will support the work of mental health charity Mind and the John Merricks Sailing Trust.
The 53-year-old is keen to raise money for Mind having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder 16 years ago. He said: "Mind has really helped me control my condition. A fellow sailor friend from Dublin has also lost two friends to mental illness, so together we formulated the idea to sail from Ireland to England in aid of Mind.
"I have also been a supporter of the John Merricks Sailing Trust for a long time. It helps many young sailors and youth sailing organisations to achieve their goals and fulfil their dreams."
Grandad-of-two David, who now runs a boat repair business in Hertfordshire, said: "We will be fully prepared and ready to go from mid-April through to mid-September, which will give us a possible 65 days for the crossing over this five-month period."
Ramada Plaza general manager Enda Rylands said: "David and Steve will be covering 115 nautical miles during the challenge. They will set off from my own home town of Dublin and finish in Southport.
"It was a real shame that they had to postpone the challenge last year, but they have had several months to ensure they are at the peak of physical fitness for the challenge, which is a really epic endeavour.
"David learned to sail on the Marine Lake which the hotel overlooks, so it is very fitting that the Ramada Plaza should sponsor him in this challenge."
To sponsor David and Steve visit http://www.roostersailing.com/isc.