Sir Bob Geldof has called on UK boaters to lend their support to his 'Make Poverty History' campaign by asking boat owners to sail en masse across the Channel in "a recreation of D-Day".
Sir Bob Geldof has called on UK boaters to lend their support to his ‘Make Poverty History’ campaign by asking boat owners to sail en masse across the Channel in “a recreation of D-Day”. It’s a rally cry that he hopes will move South Coast boaters into action, but one that has sent the Coastguard and RNLI into shock.
The Sail 8 campaign, which was launched this morning to work alongside Geldof’s enormous fund-raiser, Live 8, hopes to see hundreds of boaters reaching France to bring back more marchers for an anti-poverty walk to Edinburgh.
“We call on the sailing community to act now,” said an impassioned Geldof. “I want to see a recreation of D day – but this time the action is on poverty. This is the rich world on the move in support of those who can barely crawl.”
Logisitical finalities are yet to be announced for the event, which is set to take place on July 3rd, 3 days before the G8 summit in the Scottish capital, but Sir Bob was adamant at a press call in Swanwick, Hampshire, that it would be one of the most unforgettable boating experiences ever.
Unsurprisingly, the Maritime & Coastguard Agency are a little less enthusiastic about the idea of hundreds of craft sailing together across one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. Despite Sir Bob’s assurances that the Coastguard and RNLI had been fully consulted, the MCA quickly released a statement stressing the need to take full safety precautions before taking part in Sail 8. “We are happy to discuss these safety issues with Bob Geldof’s team before the event and look forward to their early contact to discuss the safety arrangements for this operation,” said a clearly rattled MCA spokesman.
Sail 8 supporter, Ellen MacArthur, who also took part in this morning’s launch, was also quick to point out that only qualified sailors should undertake the proposed Channel crossing.
There is so much to consider when dealing with the safety of boaters at sea, not to mention the security aspects involved in bringing large amounts of people to the UK from the Continent, that marine insiders currently say it will be a real feat of determination to pull this one off without incident. But if it goes the way of Sir Bob’s other adventures, Sail 8 could be an unexpected success story.
Watch this space for more information on Sail 8, including times and places of departure. If you are interested in taking part, log on to www.sail8.ybw.com to register your support.