Brighton based skipper Robert Munns will travel to New Zealand in November 2018 to take 35 adults with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) on his award-winning sailing challenge.
Robert, who lives with Multiple Sclerosis himself, created the Oceans of Hope Challenge to give people the same life affirming experience he gained when sailing with the organisation Sailing Sclerosis, on board the yacht appropriately named ‘Oceans of Hope’, across the Pacific Ocean and English Channel.
In the ambitious challenge, Robert will be hosting the participants on board the Tall Ship, Spirit of New Zealand, sailing around New Zealand’s North Island with the aim of bringing people together from New Zealand and Australia whose lives are touched by MS. The five-day adventure, from 8 to 13 November, will give participants the opportunity to challenge themselves and make the impossible possible, as they work together for a common goal.
Every crew member will have a valuable part to play. As well as contributing to an enjoyable life at sea onboard the Spirit of New Zealand, each person will have the chance to take command of the ship, and their lives.
Robert created the Oceans of Hope Challenge in 2015 and since then has shared the experience with over 100 adults affected by Multiple Sclerosis in 6 different challenges.
Founder of Sailing Sclerosis and Oceans of Hope, the Danish doctor and skipper, Mikkel Anthonisen, says about the new adventure down under,
“It’s fantastic that we are now coming back to New Zealand where we made so many friends during our visit on the circumnavigation – this time with the Oceans of Hope Challenge concept that has already proved an immense success in Europe.
Continuing to create life changing possibilities for people living with MS to get out into the world and into life.”
In September 2017 the challenge was acknowledged by The Sailing Today Awards, winning ‘Best Cruise’ and even beating Dame Ellen McArthur’s Round Britain to the title. In May, Robert will also be taking the challenge to Croatia, with a flotilla of 10 boats and then onto an Oceans of Hope Challenge for Scotland in June.
On the success of the Oceans of Hope Challenge, Robert Munns said, “I am amazed how the Oceans of Hope Challenge is developing, along with it’s potential to bring an element of hope to so many lives. It is my honour and privilege to be responsible for making sure that it is supported, and it continues in the spirit it was conceived”.
Ingrid Robertson, a former challenge participant who is assisting in running the New Zealand challenge, said “I am delighted to be part of bringing the Oceans of Hope Challenge to Auckland, New Zealand. As someone who has taken part in the challenge myself, I know first-hand how life changing it can be and what a difference it makes to people affected by MS.”
Training courses will also be available in May and September 2018 for those wishing to prepare and gain sailing experience.