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COWES’ own sailing legend, double Olympic gold medalist Shirley Robertson, visited Cowes Yacht Haven to officially receive £5,000 raised by visiting yachtsmen for the new local RNLI lifeboat station appeal.

The money had been raised last year from an auction and a raffle linked to a three-day sailing challenge in the Solent, organised by the UK Firefighters Sailing Club.  During this year’s event, again based at Cowes, Shirley happily performed the role of go-between to mark the donation.

The sailing challenge, this year’s was the ninth, not only attracts firemen from across the UK, but also police and ambulance personnel – and even those involved in mountain rescue. They compete in over 20 specially chartered yachts, and the event’s main sponsor is M J Quinn Integrated Services Ltd.

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Another beneficiary of last year’s event was the firefighters’ own charity, which received £3,000. This good cause is also benefitting from the 2012 challenge, together with half a dozen Hampshire-based charities.

Lifeboat Operations Manager Mark Southwell said, “It is brilliant that the organisers of this yachting event remembered the local appeal by the RNLI which, after all, is also an emergency service. It is wonderful that Shirley Robertson could find the time to join us for the official presentation.”

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