Sleekstone Holidays, CruisingFree2025, Guinness World Record, Paul Sartori Hospice at Home and Cystic Fibrosis Trust

We are so delighted to be involved with some fantastically brave ladies who are not only going to be rowing across the Atlantic in January 2025, they are also after 2 Guinness World Records to boot!!

In early June, Bill and I attended the monthly quiz at the Ferry House Inn, Llanstadwell with our other regular team members.  Each month the quiz supports a local charitable organisation that is in need of funds and June 2023 welcomed 2 members of the team from CruisingFree2025: Sophie, and Janine; the third member of the team, Polly, was away on business (work does have a habit of getting in the way of life, doesn’t it?).

Sophie introduced herself and Janine and they explained what they are attempting and why.  The plan is to row from Lanzarote to Antigua, unaccompanied, in January 2025 – that might sound a bit daunting but lots of teams do it, so what makes this row so special?  Sophie has Cystic Fibrosis and Janine will be the oldest woman to row the Atlantic at the age of 70!  There are the 2 World Records and how amazing are they?

As well as raising the funds required to facilitate the Atlantic row, the team have nominated 2 very worthy charities for which they will be fundraising.

Sophie has lived her life with cystic fibrosis. The Cystic Fibrosis Trust fund research which has contributed to a new drug that has enabled her to begin to live a life more akin to one that we often take for granted. We are very fortunate to have the National Health Service in Britain, however, with its free or subsidised drugs for those who need them, many of us are shielded from realising just how much research and development, along with the medication, actually costs – the saying “there is no price on our health” is very true but sadly there is a very high price on finding cures or many of the drugs that have the ability to change lives. As a result of the life-changing medication Sophie now has due to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, she decided that the row would also raise funds for this incredibly important charity to enable others to benefit from new research and medication.

Like so many people in Pembrokeshire, Janine and her family have benefitted from the wonderful work done by Paul Sartori Hospice at Home who provide the necessary end of life care, equipment and family support for terminally ill people in their homes, rather than in a hospital or hospice. The ability to be in our own bed at home with our families is something that almost all of us want at the end of our lives if we have the choice, but providing the necessary nursing care for that is eye-wateringly expensive.  The Hospice at Home charity is, like many others, funded partially by grants but it also relies on massive fundraising efforts and donations from the general public.  The grant availability is almost certainly reducing in the future so fundraising for the charity is even more critical than it has ever been. Consequently, the second charity to benefit from this incredible row is Paul Sartori Hospice at Home.

We at Sleekstone Holidays find the potential challenges faced by these ladies completely awe-inspiring (if a little crazy for those of us who would struggle to row a 2 person boat on a calm pond 😂) so we have joined them as their Training Sponsor……….and we are most definitely supportive of their chosen charities. How many of us know or understand Cystic Fibrosis and its limitations/impact on those with the condition (check out some of the videos on our YouTube channel)? There are also very few people whose lives haven’t been touched by cancer in some way – both Bill and Dympna’s mothers sadly succumbed to it, but neither were able to remain in their own homes at the end.

It is with this in mind that we have also stepped up a gear to support the charities.  We will be donating to the charity total every time we have a new booking between now and January 2025 as follows:

  1. £10 will be donated on each booking once it is fully paid, and
  2. An additional £10 will be donated once the guest has stayed

That is a possible total of £20 per booking between now and January 2025.  A quick calculation means we could potentially raise over £3000 if we receive just one booking per week before the girls start their row across the Atlantic. The more bookings we receive, the more we will donate! What are you waiting for?

Keep up to date on here with the girls’ progress – we will be adding to the CruisingFree2025 Blog series as time goes by so check back regularly for updates.

Back to the quiz – as I’m sure you want to know how we did – apart from leaving the evening having spent way more than usual (training is expensive you know 😂) we continued our rivalry with another team of regulars, and we came second! 😢

July is another month and, as I write this, we are getting ready to attend the final quiz before the summer break.  Let’s see if we can go out on a high!