Mike Golding signs up as supporter of forthcoming Firefighters Sailing Challenge 29/3/07

Mike Golding has signed up as a supporter for the UK Firefighters Sailing Challenge, to be hosted jointly by Hampshire and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Services from 1-3 May.

The event organisers are delighted that ex-firefighter Golding, one of the world’s best offshore racing sailors, is supporting the event by hopefully playing a part at the prizegiving ceremony.

Commenting regatta, Golding said: “Having spent 12 years as a Fire Officer in the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service before pursuing my passion for sailing on a professional basis, I am delighted to be supporting the UK Firefighters Sailing Challenge. Sailing is a tough and complex sport that requires huge commitment and dedication. The UK’s Fire and Rescue Service is widely acknowledged as being one of the most dedicated and professional services in the world and I am extremely confident that we will see some highly competitive racing on the water.”

From a modest starting entry of 11 yachts in 2004, this year’s event has already attracted 25 confirmed teams. The popularity of the event has also seen enquiries from the country’s Police and Ambulance Services and to recognise the special relationship the Emergency Services share, they have been invited to participate – making this a unique blue-light sailing event. Colleagues from the Coastguard Service have also indicated that they will take part next year.

As funds will be raised for two charities this year – the Fire Services National Benevolent Fund and the Children’s Fire and Burns Trust – organisers are delighted to have attracted sponsorship for the event. WL Gore Associates and Telent Plc will be the prime sponsors, with Telent also entering their own yacht in the event. Other significant contributors include Southampton-based Critchley Management Solutions Ltd, SVGC Ltd of Salisbury, and Marine Travelift International.

The three-day event, which includes a passage race and a series of round the cans races, will be contested onboard Jeanneau Sunfast 37s chartered from Sunsail, Port Solent. The Royal Solent Yacht Club in Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, will be hosting the competitors at the end of the first two days.