To raise cash for cancer sufferers

Solo sailor Richard Mayon-White is planning to cross the Atlantic on a diminutive Mini Transat 6.5m yacht to raise cash for cancer sufferers.

He plans to leave Poole in August bound for Gibraltar where he will start his 4,000 mile journey in October 2013.

Richard’s goal is to raise £40,000 to be split equally between the Sobell House Hospice in Oxford and the national charity Sail 4 Cancer, which gives respite to cancer sufferers and their families through days out on the water and sailing holidays.

Richard’s determination to undertake such a tough challenge grew from his experience of the amazing care provided by Sobell House, where his mother spent her last few weeks before her death 16 months ago. “The wonderful environment offered by Sobell House was so amazing that I strongly felt the need to give something back,” explains Richard.  

“I’ve already carried out a number of challenges including cycling, rowing and sailing to raise money for charity, even before my mother was diagnosed with cancer. But the Tropic 4 Cancer voyage is the biggest and most important of them all. I feel that as it is close to Mother’s Day it seemed like a poignant time for me to announce the voyage.”

The Tropic of Cancer runs around the Earth at approximately 23 degrees north, marking the most northerly position at which the sun may appear directly overhead. Richard’s voyage will start in Gibraltar at the end of October when he will sail south, following the western coastline of Morocco and the Western Sahara, until reaching the Tropic of Cancer which he will follow for 3000 miles until reaching the Bahamas.

Richard and his tiny Mini Transat can expect to have to deal with whatever the weather throws at him, and he won’t have to luxury of being able to alter course to gain the optimum benefit from changes in wind direction and strength.

At the time of year that the voyage takes place the prevailing winds should blow from east to west and therefore allowing the boat to be sailed more easily along the course. However, tropical storms and even hurricanes have been recorded in the area at this time of year, although it is uncommon.

Richard’s plans are well advanced both for the voyage and for the distribution of the funds he hopes to raise. Part of the funds raised by Tropic 4 Cancer will fund a pilot study at Sobell House Hospice for an education programme for lay carers to learn the practical skills they need to look after patients with palliative care needs in their home. For more information visit