William Chanter, 16, from Crockham Hill in Kent and friend Tom Baker, 15, from Alton are taking on the challenge of a lifetime this summer to raise vital funds for JDRF
The pair will be sailing 60 miles around the Isle of Wight in just a 29er dinghy – leading some to compare the challenge to climbing Snowdon on a pogo stick.
The teen sailors both live with type 1 diabetes, which affects 29,000 children in the UK. Both want to prove that it doesn’t stop you living your life – and both want to do something positive to raise awareness.
Their journey will be a record breaking challenge for three reasons. Nobody has ever attempted to circumnavigate the island in such a vessel (a 29er dinghy) before. Nobody under the age of 17 has attempted it – and nobody living with type 1 diabetes has ever attempted it either. William and Tom hope that it will take eight hours to complete if the weather is favourable.
William, a sixth form pupil at Oxted School, was diagnosed aged six. He has to do multiple blood glucose tests and insulin injections every day. He said:
'The challenge is really important to us – we’re passionate about sailing but just as passionate about raising awareness of type 1 and funds for JDRF. A huge thank you to everyone who has supported us so far and we can’t wait to break some records now.'
Tom, an Eggar’s School pupil, was diagnosed two years ago. He added:
'When I was diagnosed with type 1 it was a huge shock and it took a while to adjust to living with the condition but I was determined not to let it affect my sailing.'
William and Tom will be attending an open day at the Bough Beech Sailing Club, Edenbridge, on Saturday 18 May to talk about their up-and-coming challenge, along with supporters JDRF and Team Blood Glucose.
Nicole Gerrard, Senior Fundraiser for the area, said:
'William and Tom are an inspirational pair. The challenge that they are doing is amazing but to be the first pair with type 1 to attempt it is even more incredible! We are wishing the pair every success in their challenge and thanking them for raising awareness and funds for us – bon voyage to them both!'
Paul Buchanan, CEO of Team Blood Glucose, said:
'Both William and Tom share a common goal, to demonstrate that anyone living with this chronic, lifelong condition can achieve anything if they put their mind to it.'
Support for the teenagers has been fantastic with the whole community getting behind the adventure, including friends and family. Special thanks to the Bough Beech Sailing Club, Team BG, Sanofi, LionTrust, Artemis, River and Mercantile, Somerset Capital Management and AllGoodFun.
For further information please visit www.sailingroundtheisland.williamchanter.co.uk and to make a donation please visit http://www.justgiving.com/RTI4T1