A fleet of beautifully crafted 1:25 working scale model ships, including a replica HM Royal Navy destroyer, is getting ready to charter new waters next week when it leaves the safety of the boating lake to make a maiden voyage across the Solent for charity.
Marine enthusiast, David Ritchie and his local crew will be launching off from Portsmouth Historic Dockyard at 8am on July 7th on behalf of the Chernobyl Children’s Life Line in an eye-catching and brave display of miniature captaincy! It is hoped the fleet will make it all 3.5 miles across to the Isle of Wight and back in one day, raising awareness and lots of money for a very special charity.
As David comments: “We designed, built and operate these charming little ships ourselves so we know what they are capable of, but they have never left the safety of the boating lakes before! Crossing an open shipping lane and ferry routes will be an interesting challenge.”
The electric powered craft were designed with the help of a naval architect and have an effective range of several miles. But having never been exposed to open waters before, there are many risks and factors to be overcome. Two escort vessels provided by Mendez Marine Ltd. will accompany the eclectic convoy to ensure safety and essential back-up in case anything goes wrong.
The objective is to raise £1,000 for the local branch of Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline, a charity which aims to bring child victims of the Chernobyl disaster over to the UK for 4 week recuperative breaks. Over 46,000 children have come to stay with host families since the charity started in 1992. Children on holiday visited the Miniport boat hire attraction in Gunwharf Quays last year and made such an impression on staff there that they decided to organise some fundraising for them. Breaking out of the boating lake seemed the perfect initiative.
Described as one young visitor as “The coolest thing you can ever go on” the experience of skippering these miniature ships is unique to Portsmouth and only available at Gunwharf Quays Shopping Centre and in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. www.facebook.com/MiniportPortsmouth
Anyone interested in giving to the charity should get in touch with David via the Miniport website, or to donate direct, please go to at: https://www.justgiving.com/miniport/
For more details of the Miniport boat hire activity click here.