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VENDEE GLOBE (EVERY UNDERDOG HAS HIS DAY)

Sunday November 16th, 2008
ImageIntrepid, inspiring… insane? Steve White is one of those adventurer/sportsmen who make events and achievements legendary. They seem to appear from nowhere; unknowns who have an unfathomable driving force; heroes, fools, madmen, whatever your take on someone hell bent on conquering the world you simply cannot help but admire them.

Dorchester born Steve White is 35 and now lives in Weymouth and for the past ten years has been obsessed with taking part in the Vendee Globe. His desire to achieve his goal has been such that he has taken out a crippling seven -year loan to buy his boat and mortgaged his house four times. Throughout all this he has been raising a family. When it came to weeks leading up to the race it seemed that Steve had little hope of reaching the starting line, let alone the Southern ocean.

But his determination was rewarded by the intervention of eleventh hour sponsors encouraged to help through his decision to rechristen his boat Toe in the Water (it was previously Spirit of Weymouth) in respect for the charity of the same name. The private financiers, who wish to remain anonymous, saw Steve’s Vendee Globe campaign as an opportunity to not only ensure a truly worthy competitor would get his chance but also as the perfect means by which to raise worldwide awareness of the charity itself.

On hearing the news that he would be given the chance to realise his dream Steve said, “We managed to qualify in The Artemis Transat in May this year, but have struggled to find sufficient sponsorship. We arrived in Les Sables D’Olonne in October, unsure as to whether we could even keep hold of my family’s home, let alone sail alone around the world. With these new funds, we can finish the necessary preparations, and I am delighted to carry the name and colours of Toe in the Water around the world.”

Toe in the Water, established only six months ago, is a new project designed to use competitive sailing as an extension of the rehabilitation work carried out at UK’s Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) at Headley Court for as long as there are injured servicemen and women in need of support.

Holly King, the founder of Toe in the Water, concluded, “When we were approached by Steve’s backers and asked if they could use Steve’s campaign to raise awareness of our project, we were both surprised and delighted. We are honoured that Steve’s boat will be called Toe in the Water and will carry our colours on his sails and hull. We are committed to inspiring servicemen and women through competitive sailing, and hope that Steve’s story will inspire many more people all over the planet. We wish him the best of luck in this extraordinary endeavour.”
The Harbourguides Crew would like to echo those views!
VENDEE GLOBE ENTRANTS
Dee Caffari (Aviva)
Sébastien Josse (BT)
Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) (EXTENSIVE DAMAGE OUT OF RACE)
Mike Golding (Ecover 3)
Derek Hatfield Algimouss-Spirit of Canada
Loïck Peyron (Gitana Eighty)
Marc Guillemot (Safran)
Yann Eliès (Generali)
Jean Pierre Dick (Paprec-Virbac 2)
Jérémie Beyou (Deta Dore)
Raphaël Dinelli (Fondation Ocean Vital)
Marc Thiercelin (DCNS) (OUT OF RACE)
Vincent Riou (PRB)
Jean Le Cam (VM Matériaux)
Jonny Malbon (Artemis)
Brian Thompson (Bahrain Team Pindar)
Armel Le Cléac’h (Brit Air)
Jean Baptiste Dejeanty (Maisonneuve)
Dominique Wavre (Temenos II)
Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat)
Steve White (Toe in the water)
Unai Basurko (Pakea Bizkaia)
Arnaud Boissières (Akena Vérandas)
Norbert Sedlacek (Nauticsport-Kapsch)
Rich Wilson (Great American III)
Samantha Davies (Roxy)
Yannick Bestaven (Aquarelle.com) (OUT OF RACE)
Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia)
Kito de Pavant (Groupe Bel) (DISMASTED OUT OF RACE)
Roland Jourdain (Veolia Environnement)
TO FOLLOW THE VENDEE GLOBE PROGRESS CLICK THE LINK BELOW
Vendee Globe - monitor progress
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