PRLog - July 20, 2011 - COLCHESTER, U.K. -- The hotel is sponsoring former Southport man David Summerville and fellow sailor Steve Cockerill as they attempt to cross the Irish Sea in two single handed Laser class dinghies – which are only 4m in length each.
David on his Laser class dinghy
Ramada Plaza General Manager Enda Rylands explained that the pair will be covering 115 nautical miles during the challenge. They will set off from Enda’s own home town of Dublin and finish in Southport, aiming to raise £50,000 for mental health charity Mind and the John Merricks Sailing Trust.
Enda said: “It is an epic challenge in terms of physical fitness and David and Steve have to ensure that conditions are just right on the day. David actually 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 impressive endeavour.”
David, who grew up in Rawlinson Road 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.
The 52-year-old grandfather of one explained how the Irish Sea Challenge was conceived. “I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 15 years ago,” he said. “I was keen to raise money for Mind, which has helped me control the 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.”
He added that money raised will also go towards the John Merricks Sailing Trust. “I have long been a supporter of the Trust, which helps many young sailors and youth sailing organisations to achieve their goals and fulfil their dreams.”
David, who now runs a boat repair business in Hertfordshire, said the date of the challenge would depend on the weather and tidal conditions. “The Irish Sea is notorious for unpredictable winds and strong tidal currents,” he explained. “There are also at least 30 species of shark in these waters, plus the deadly Lion’s Mane jellyfish which is prevalent in August and September. This is all an added incentive not to capsize the Laser and fall into the water!”
He added: “My training has been going really well and I’m feeling confident – it’s a massive challenge but as long as my body holds together my only fear is running out of breeze during the 15-hour crossing.”
Enda added: “It will be wonderful to welcome David and Steve here at the hotel after their voyage. We hope as many people as possible will donate to the cause and raise thousands for Mind and the John Merricks Sailing Trust.”
The Ramada Plaza is set in the heart of the waterfront development on Southport’s promenade close to the Victorian pier. The hotel boasts 133 stylish rooms including eight with floor to ceiling windows offering panoramic views of the coastline.
For further information on the hotel, visit www.ramadaplazasouthport.co.uk For more details about the challenge or to sponsor David and Steve visit www.roostersailing.com/
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