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Kit Guide

Dave Birch, The Man, The Myth, The Laser 150 Challenge

By Emma Ralph 2nd October 2020
After the great success of the Laser Pico Challenge in 2016 where I sailed my Laser Pico 75 miles single-handed from Guernsey to Torquay, I'm back with a bigger challenge. The Laser 150 Challenge 2018. For this, I will be sailing my Laser Radial single-handed, non-stop in excess of 150 miles. It is intended to take on this monster challenge this May/June with a favourable weather window. A course that will see me starting in Falmouth, and heading along the south Cornish coast towards Plymouth where I will circumnavigate the iconic Eddystone lighthouse before charging across one of the widest parts of the English channel to the Lannion region of north Brittany. Finally heading northeast to the finish at St. Peter Port, Guernsey, covering in excess of 150 miles. It is expected to take approximately 30+ hours and with the rigours of open water sailing in a small dinghy, it will surely pose a great challenge both physically and mentally. Waves mid-channel will be expected to be 8ft plus with a force 4-5 wind! Night time sailing will pose its own set of issues, not to mention shipping. With the desire to be self-sufficient, the dinghy has been equipped with a solar-powered digital compass, speedo and handheld GPS for navigation! Try picturing it, sailing along in the open sea in 8ft waves, focusing on navigating, keeping hydrated and energised with protein foods and awake for so long! Clothing was another big consideration. Rooster has been priceless with their input and advice on clothing making sure that I'm fully equipped with the right gear. Their multi-layer system really does work. I think it's good to push one's own physical and mental boundaries to help discover who we really are. But why do something so crazy? Whilst pushing my own boundaries, I want to put my crazy challenge to a cause that's close to my heart. Hospice care. With the rapid growth of life-limiting illnesses, not affecting just the elderly, the hospice movement is in ever greater demand and given that they remain reliant on donations, they need our support more than ever. I couldn't put a price on their services to the suffering and their families. Please help support this epic challenge in aid of Les Bourgs Hospice. Every penny raised goes directly to the hospice with zero deductions for my costs. There is a donation link on my website below.

Follow Dave's endeavours on his website or on Facebook

Support Dave via JustGiving There will be an after-challenge party at the Guernsey yacht club. The dinghy will be auctioned off with a high percentage of the winning bid being donated to the hospice.

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