Teenagers cross the Channel in dinghys to help RYA Sailability

Two 17-year-old sailors have crossed the Channel in Lasers, raising over than £10,000 for RYA Sailability, a charity which helps people with disabilities to get out on the water.

Nick Church from London and Florence Barrow from Suffolk completed the journey from Dover to Calais in 3 hours 20 minutes in challenging conditions of a SW F4 and high waves.

The pair hatched the idea for the fundraising event while on a yacht working towards their Duke of Edinburgh award. They approached Laser, who sponsored their challenge by donating the boats, radial sails, life jackets and trolleys. The Pilot and Channel Swimming Federation also sponsored the event, supplying safety boats that accompanied the sailors for their entire journey across the Channel.

Speaking of their achievement, Flo said: ‘Leaving Dover in the choppy wake of a ferry in big waves was a bit daunting, but once we got out of the harbour it was a great sail.’ Nick added: ‘We were planing the entire crossing and surfing the waves was exhilarating. We’d like to thank all those who supported us, especially Laser and we’re looking forward to the next challenge!’