….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!
We’ve started working on three new numbers; it’s funny, you don’t really know which you’ll like till you actually play and sing them…I was surprised! But they’re definitely stretching us. Loads of mistakes and loads of laughs (with me, not at me….I hope!)
We’re regrouping a bit – learning lots of new numbers, and going over old ones that we’ve not attempted for ages! Interesting…!
We’re also planning to have a promo video recorded – we’re still considering a good venue to use. (Any ideas?)
We’ve been booked to do our set in a 1940s event at the beginning of June, in Tetbury. It sounds like a fantastic night out!
More details as and when we have them (I don’t think this one is a private party, so you might be able to come along!)
We’re doing our first Welsh gig, a private party in Cardiff at the beginning of May…yay! We’re international! A bit more planning required for most of the band, as most live in Bristol or beyond…what’ll work best…car sharing? Even a minibus is being discussed..! But for me (Pat) it’s brilliant…I could walk!
Cymru am byth!
Our new bassist Rich brought along both of his electric upright basses to rehearsal the other evening, instead of his bass guitar – he’s a man of many talents! He’s playing a different one each week, so we can decide which suits our music best – we think they look so cool, and sound even better!
And that extra one, in the middle? That’s Mark’s stick…wearing his coat! (What else?!)
Thanks to Hazel for the pic…and the headline!
….bride…..and groom, because we’ve been booked to entertain at our first wedding! Yay! How exciting! We’ve got lots of new numbers ready to learn, and maybe a new one for a First Dance, which will be delightful.
It’s not till August though, hopefully we’ll have loads more gigs before then…..