Queen Mary SC all set to go that ex­tra Su­per Mile

Club ready for tilt at paddle-board world ti­tle on Satur­day

Staines Informer - - SPORT - Sail­ing

ASHFORD’S Queen Mary Sail­ing Club are tak­ing on the world for the sec­ond time in two years.

Hav­ing al­ready con­trib­uted in a mas­sive way to the suc­cess of Bart’s Bash – in­au­gu­rated in Septem­ber 2014 and con­firmed as a Guinness World Record in Jan­uary 2015 for the largest sail­ing event in 24 hours – the club are go­ing to at­tempt to break a world best on their own on Satur­day, this time the big­gest paddle-board pa­rade in his­tory.

The event is be­ing dubbed the SU­PER MILE, and not only can par­tic­i­pants learn a new skill and have a great day out, they can sup­port the Africa Foun­da­tion char­ity in build­ing a much-needed sci­ence lab­o­ra­tory at Mahlale High School in South Africa.

That link came from East Mole­sey-based Hampton Court House School, neigh­bours of Queen Mary SC, who are work­ing with the char­ity while also help­ing to or­gan­ise the spe­cial day, in par­tic­u­lar with pub­lic­ity.

Pupils from the East Mole­sey school will be run­ning a mar­ket and or­gan­is­ing games at the event to raise even more funds.

Par­tic­i­pants will be­come an of­fi­cial Guinness World Record Holder and be able to ap­ply for a certificate.

Ben Rud­din, sec­ond master at Hampton Court House, said: “The event is a bril­liant op­por­tu­nity for any­one to get in­volved in sup­port­ing a great project and learn a new skill. Ev­ery penny raised goes di­rectly into build­ing fa­cil­i­ties that will change chil­dren’s lives in South Africa.”

Chief or­gan­iser and sec­re­tary of Queen Mary SC Tony Bishop was the man who in­spired Bart’s Bash and helped it de­velop into a phe­nom­e­non.

Now for a new chal­lenge and he en­thused: “Those tak­ing part don’t need any spe­cial equip­ment, we’ll pro­vide the paddle-boards and a short les­son to show you how it works.

“Peo­ple will ask ‘will I re­ally be a world record holder?’ The an­swer is ‘yes.’ This at­tempt is of­fi­cially reg­is­tered with the Guinness Book of Records. If, to­gether, we can re­cruit more than 265 paddle-board­ers to take part then they will be able to ap­ply for an of­fi­cial world record holder certificate. We al­ready have a stag­ger­ing 276 reg­is­tered and there is still time for more.

“We aim to get to around 300, to put some dis­tance be­tween us and Datch­ett, who set the record last year with 264. It’s very ex­cit­ing.

“We have around 60 boards and it will take around 20 min­utes for com­pe­tent paddle-board­ers and 40 min­utes for begin­ners. Peo­ple will be asked to get to the back of the queue and we will keep go­ing and aim to get 100 peo­ple done in an hour.

“If we get to 500 for in­stance, then we can keep it go­ing for five hours and do our best to get ev­ery­one through.”

Bishop added: “Since launch­ing around six weeks ago, there has been an amaz­ing amount of in­ter­est from par­ents and chil­dren.

“The key is, it’s just £2 to en­ter and all fundrais­ing goes to the Africa Foun­da­tion char­ity. And this is a char­ity run 100% by vol­un­teers.”

Adi­das Sail­ing have al­ready climbed aboard with spon­sor­ship, as has ac­tor James Cosmo, star of Game of Thrones.

His in­volve­ment is a mas­sive coup for the event and he is sched­uled to at­tend and sign pho­tographs.

Bart’s Bash was named af­ter Chert­sey-born An­drew ‘Bart’ Simp­son, an Olympic gold medal­list in 2008, who died in May 2013 in a train­ing ac­ci­dent in San Fran­cisco Bay, while prepar­ing for the 34th Amer­ica’s Cup.

It in­spired more than 700 sail­ing clubs from more than 60 dif­fer­ent coun­tries to take part in their own in­di­vid­ual race, Queen Mary at the fore­front to hon­our one of their former he­roes.

Now for the lat­est chal­lenge, which as well as the £2 fee re­quires par­tic­i­pants (min­i­mum age eight) to raise a min­i­mum of £10 in spon­sor­ship to sup­port the African project.

Any­one who raises more than £150 will re­ceive a spe­cial com­mem­o­ra­tive t-shirt, while ev­ery £100 raised will give that per­son an en­try into a prize draw.

En­try can be reg­is­tered at www.su­per­mile.org.uk.

Terry Hab­good HI141915

Big day looms: Queen Mary SC are ready for an­other World Record bid as paddle-board­ers take to the wa­ter.

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