Toe in the Water get the party started for AAM Cowes Week 2012

TOE IN THE WATER, the official charity partner to the UK’s biggest sailing regatta, Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, has laid down the challenge to competitors, supporters and the public alike to help make their shore-side fundraising activities as successful as their on the water racing performance. Toe in the Water is a non-profit organisation which uses sailing as a vehicle to re-inspire injured servicemen and women, all of whom have been profoundly wounded, some sustaining loss of limb/s and who are currently being treated at Headley Court, the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre. The servicemen and women’s active participation in the event is a crucial part of their rehabilitation programme after sustaining traumatic injuries, many sustained whilst recently serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, although many of them have never been on a yacht before, let alone raced competitively.

Since entering its first crew at Cowes Week in 2008, Toe in the Water has gone on to re-inspire more than 160 profoundly and traumatically injured servicemen women through competitive sailing, including numerous top ten finishes across a string of regattas and national competitions.

In 2011, the charity was confirmed as the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week official charity partner for 2011-13 which provides them with unrivalled opportunities to raise both its profile and much needed funds. Commenting on the announcement, Stuart Quarrie, Chief Executive of Cowes Week Limited, said: “We are delighted to be working with Toe in the Water and to provide the charity with a platform to promote its outstanding work at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.”

“Being appointed as the official charity partner for the regatta is fantastic for a small organisation like Toe in the Water and we’re really keen to make this year even more successful for us – on and off the water!” commented Tanya Brookfield, Director of the charity. Following on from last year’s highly successful Crew Curry Night, Toe in the Water has organised a range of fundraising activities and events in conjunction with many of the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week partners. They include a ‘Vintage Great British Supper Party’ on Sunday 12th August at Northwood House, with a champagne reception, vintage styled supper and dancing to the Ian James Orchestra; a display by The Black Knights – the Royal Artillery Parachute Display Team – on Tuesday 14th August just off Trinity Landing and The Parade as part of a special reception hosted by the 17 Port & Maritime Regiment, Royal Logistic Corp; and the massive ‘Legends & Heroes Crew Party’ at Peppermint Shepards Wharf Marina on Friday 17th August which will feature live music, games and entertainment, a gourmet BBQ and a special appearance from members of Skandia Team GBR.

“But don’t forget we’re also coming to race!” said Capt Lloyd Hamilton MBE, Racing Director of Toe in the Water, “2012 just keeps getting bigger and better for us and we are thrilled to be back again this year, both as official charity, but also perhaps more importantly to race.

We will be entering two yachts, a Farr 52 ‘TOE IN THE WATER’ generously donated to us earlier this year, and the British Army’s A40RC which will be racing as ‘TOE IN THE WATER TOO’. These two high performance yachts give us the capacity to accommodate even more patients with an even greater range of injuries and we’re also looking forward to having round the world legends Dee Caffari MBE and Brian Thompson at the helm with us again during the week”.

Dee Caffari MBE, who was appointed Honorary Commander RNR in part due to her support of the charity commented, “Having raced with the guys for a couple of years now, I have already seen first-hand the positive impact being back in a competitive environment can have. The calibre of the able-bodied volunteers combined with the drive and determination of the injured crew makes for some really competitive racing. I am really proud to be a Toe in the Water Ambassador and I can’t wait to dip my Toe in the Water again soon!”

For more information about any of the events or Toe in the Water in general, contact

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