Olympian and civic support for mad sailing exploit for BASICS Hampshire


Who would set off at 3am on a June morning to take a tiny boat on a 12-hour trip round the Isle of Wight?

Step forward Luke Morrison, 29-year-old Sailing Commodore for Hillhead Sailing Club in Hampshire.   He plans to take a racing sailing dinghy – a Laser – out on June 9th in the early hours and take it right round the Island.

He’s hoping to raise ten thousand pounds for BASICS Hampshire.

Olympic Laser Gold medallist Paul Goodison – who’ll be competing off Weymouth just six weeks later – sent his support.

“Wow, what an amazing challenge for such a great cause.  It’s going to be tough to get round.  Prepare well and have a great experience.  All the best of luck – Paul.”

Councillor Arthur Mandry came to the launch of Luke’s preparations at the Hillhead Sailing Club last Saturday.   A former Royal Navy officer, he was thought to have said “rather you than me” beneath his breath, while whole heartedly supporting Luke’s plans and finding out more about Luke’s chosen charity from the three doctors there.

Around 50 people turned out to hear Luke speak about his venture – and to hear fellow sailor and BASICS Hampshire doctor explain what the charity does and how much it means to have so much support.

And as for the Laser – resplendent with BASICS Hampshire logo on its sails – it was there making its own statement.  At 14 foot it’s a very slight craft for going round the Island.  Will Norris, captain of the XOD boats who made their own journey round the island to celebrate their centenary last year said “very tricky for a small boat -we managed in XODs but conditions were perfect and our boats are slower and heavier – like most of their owners.

“Luke’s doing this in something light, fast and very tippy.  But a fantastic challenge and a great way to raise money for an excellent charity.”

You can follow Luke at www.facebook.com/1Luke1Laser1Island1Challengeand contribute at JustGiving at LukeceleMorrison