Audio - November 4th
Status - part 1.
Audio - Status - Part 2.
Audio - Kim's Overview.
Audio Clips courtesy Trigone/VendeeGlobe
Official Toe in the Water Launch
While the name publicises a charity which aims to help to use sailing as a means of inspiring and motivating injured servicemen, giving them access to a sport which is not just exciting and invigorating, but well suited to less able bodied individuals, the concept of putting just a toe in the water is one which appears slightly alien to White.
He has already proven an inspirational character who has taken run with his Vendee Globe dream for ten years, been to the very brink financially always with the confidence that he would make it to Sunday's start line somehow.
His financial backers are a group of anonymous private individuals who are supporting his challenge while using White's Vendee Globe campaign to publicise the sailing and rehabilitation charity. He is not directly backed by the charity itself.
"It is a special day, long awaited day for us naming the boat Toe in the Water." White smiled, "It is essentially a group of people who have seen a fit between the struggle we have had to get here, and the charity Toe in the Water. We are here to raise awareness about the activities of the charity, the work it is doing rehabilitating and re-motivating servicemen who have had a profound injury, a loss of limb, something like that, and as well know sailing is a great way of levelling the playing field between able bodied and disabled sailors, and quite naturally builds teams. This is just a great platform for this kind of thing."
The private backers were equally inspired by White, who displayed similar characteristics to those servicemen that they had met through Toe in the Water. The backers therefore saw Steve's Vendee Globe campaign as an opportunity to achieve two objectives: assisting Steve in achieving his dream and raising awareness for a worthwhile cause. The support is a philanthropic gesture as Steve will not benefit directly from the financing - it will allow him to participate in the Vendee Globe under the colours of Toe in the Water.
Toe in the Water, which has not made any financial contribution to Steve's campaign and will not be involved in the day-to-day management of the project, say they are "honoured and grateful to be offered the opportunity to raise awareness of the competitive sailing initiative for injured servicemen and women in the UK."
Toe in the Water, established only six months ago, is a new project designed to use competitive sailing as an extension of the rehabilitation work carried out at UK's Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) at Headley Court for as long as there are injured servicemen and women in need of support.
Holly King, the founder of Toe in the Water, concluded, "When we were approached by Steve's backers and asked if they could use Steve's campaign to raise awareness of our project, we were both surprised and delighted. We are honoured that Steve's boat will be called Toe in the Water and will carry our colours on his sails and hull. We are committed to inspiring servicemen and women through competitive sailing, and hope that Steve's story will inspire many more people all over the planet. We wish him the best of luck in this extraordinary endeavour."
Toe in the Water has received huge support from many of the British IMOCA teams and skippers over the last six months, most notably Brian Thompson (Bahrain Team Pindar) who invited two injured servicemen to join his crew during Cowes Week. Steve and his family also have links to the armed forces via their families and through their home in Weymouth, an important Military centre in the UK. Steve and his family are delighted to be involved with Toe in the Water, a campaign they have also followed closely since its launch in 2008.