To highlight charity's Marine Act Campaign, WWF take to the seas 18/07/07

When hundreds of boats set off from Cowes to compete in the Rolex Fastnet Challenge, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) – the global conservation charity – will be joining them. Their mission? To highlight the need to protect our seas.

On Sunday 12 August WWF Pandas will leave Cowes for the gruelling 608-mile race. The distinctive panda logos adorn the sails and hull of the 38ft MAC Mission yacht, named in support of the charity’s Marine Act Campaign.

According to WWF only around two per cent of the UK’s marine wildlife is protected, and less than one per cent is afforded high levels of protection from all human activities. WWF wants to ensure that British marine life is properly looked after and planning systems are put in place to prevent further decline.

There are 10 crewmembers on board MAC Mission, led by Harrogate businessman Mark Styles and co skipper Bob Wride(pictured left). Mark explained: “There’s no doubt we have set ourselves a massive challenge. To be competitive in the Fastnet requires true skill, endurance and courage. We’ll be pushing ourselves to the limit all the way to the finish line, but beyond the finish line, there is another more important goal, and that’s to secure a UK Marine Act.”