2019 is set to be Ocean of Hope Challenge's busiest year to date, with six events in four countries being held between April and December. 170 participants are due to come sailing with us in 2019. Some will return for another Challenge and some experiencing what we have to offer for the first time. We still have limited spaces available for Scotland in June, Turkey in September/October and New Zealand in December. For more information just email firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the Croatia challenge due to start on April 20th, and with 60 participants ready and waiting, we caught up with managing director Robert Munns before he flies to Split.
What are you most looking forward to in 2019? "Each challenge will be amazing for different reasons this year. In Croatia this month we're doing something new, and will actually be doing a journey, starting and finishing the trip in different locations. This will make the crew work harder and gives a united goal, much like the original Oceans of Hope circumnavigation back in 2014/15. It will also enable our veteran participants to put their experiences into practice whilst supporting our newcomers."
What was the most satisfying moment from last year's challenges? "One photo from Croatia last year of all the wheelchairs lined up on the pontoon next to the boats is very memorable for me. A picture says a thousand words... the people who owned those wheelchairs became less reliant on them. To leave your comfort zone and not rely on them is scary for many - but becomes a priceless moment soon after. However magnificent or mundane that effort is, it's important to realise that you've done it."
How has OOH Challenge changed since the first event in 2016? "Our first event was in Turkey aboard 6 boats and it felt like a big group of friends just going on holiday. Now it's developed dramatically and the way we plan and organise challenges is so much more tailored to provide participants with opportunities to push themselves and achieve what they thought was impossible. This is solely a result of input from the original circumnavigators and all the participants who have taken part since 2016. This year is now all about challenging us as an organisation, as a team, and as individuals."