As band members have been away on holiday off and on over the last few weeks, and I’ve a long running cough and wheezing, so can’t sing, we’ve actually had to turn down a few offers of gigs recently….boo!
But we’ll definitely be up at running again at full strength soon, and already planning more performances!
Well, not entirely at full strength – Phil, our guitarist has had to leave us, due to family reasons, so we’re now only a nine piece band. We’re going to give that a go for a while, see how it works out for us, musically.
Mark is doing well in his Blind World Championship Sailing (thanks for the kind donations!) and will be back either next week or the following one – hurray!
….but only for a few weeks!
Mark is registered Blind and for the last five years he has been sailing and racing with the Great Britain Blind Sailing team. His main role with the crew of four Blind and Partially sighted sailors is Helmsman.
Mark has been selected to sail for Great Britain at the 2019 Blind Fleet Racing World Championships, Kingston Yacht Club, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Although qualified as a member of the GB Blind Sailing Team, Mark does not receive any funding for training in the U.K. or even when racing in National and International Blind Sailing events. Due to a very serious Road Traffic Accident in 1992, which left him with many significant injuries resulting in, among other things, less than 20% useful sight in just one eye. Mark is unable to work, hence raises much of the money by playing his Saxophone at private functions, also busking and some public speaking and in the past has enjoyed support from certain local Rotary, Lions and Yacht Clubs, plus personal donations from the very generous people of Yate and Chipping Sodbury.
Busking with his Saxophone during the last decade he has raised thousands of pounds worth of funds for various other charities. Mark is now hoping to raise funds for himself, as with encouragement from his family and friends although the fees add up fast!
The race entry fees, travel and accommodation for the 2019 World Championships in September are £2,450. In preparation Mark is sailing once a week at a local yacht club and attend eleven sail/race training camps throughout the year. The personal expenses to attend all of the training this year are £3,900.
Thank you for any donations you can spare towards helping Mark achieve his aspirations in Canada this September!