On 31 August 2018, for the fifth year, Disability Snowsport UK (DSUK) ran the Solent Challenge just off the coast of Portsmouth. Twelve yachts participated in this fundraising event including a crew from Crystal competing for the honour of being Solent Challenge Champion 2018.

After months of fundraising with car washing, baking, BBQs, prosecco sales and more, it was finally time for the Crystal Team Ships and Giggles to venture from the Crystal office down to Portsmouth for the Disability Snowsport UK (DSUK) challenge.

It was a sunny day as the team tucked into breakfast by the harbour, fuelling themselves for a full day out at sea. Sailor hats and scarfs at the ready, they met their skipper Ken, and his assistant James, who ensured them that with their experience and team work, they’d be in with a chance of winning.

So they set sail and begun to learn the ropes. After trying their hand at steering, working the ropes and practicing their slick manoeuvres, it was time for racing. Race 1 saw Ships and Giggles take the waves – it was a slow start to the race as the wind failed to pick up, but the team’s enthusiasm kept them going as they crossed the finish line. After lunch and with equal enthusiasm, Race 2 begun. This time, the boats started off optimistically only to be slowed by the lack of wind (and direction…). But with a little help around the last buoy they crossed the finish line and made their way back to land to celebrate.

As the saying goes ‘it’s not the winning, it’s the taking part’ and with smiles on their faces and sailor hats still on their heads, the team left Portsmouth after a great day out and most importantly having reached their target for DSUK, with donations still rolling in in the morning.

Thank you to Charlie Oakley, the team’s captain, who worked hard throughout the summer to organise the day and keep everyone motivated. A massive thank you must also go to DSUK for hosting a fun, full-packed day in aide of an excellent cause.

Ships and Giggles Team members who raised nearly £2000 for the charity: Charlie Oakley, Rachel Turner, Raja Devarakonda, Dawn Whitcher, Joanna Matthews, Adrian Bell, Laura Clements, Sara Humphries, Kevin Harland, Megan Lovegrove.

More pictures here