Fearsome winds puts the Hell on High Seas yacht at a 45-degree angle

20th June 2017

Yesterday was a tough day for the six celebrities on the BT Sport Relief Challenge: Hell on High Seas, as they passed the Isle of Man sailing south at a speed of 7 knots after leaving Belfast on Monday. The yacht was on its keel at a 45-degree angle, so even the simple task of walking around was made tough, not to mention having to steer the boat through the elements. As the weather closed in on them, they experienced winds of 20 knots, the air temperature was 6 degrees and the sea temperature only 9 degrees - so they really felt the icy cold water as it splashed against their bare faces.

The One Show’s Alex Jones, TV presenter Angellica Bell, Comedian Hal Cruttenden, Actress Doon Mackichan, and TV presenters Ore Oduba and Suzi Perry will battle fearsome winds, freezing temperatures and rough seas in a feat of pure physical, mental and emotional endurance.  The challenge is sponsored by BT, a long-term supporter of Sport Relief challenges since 2009.

Today (Tuesday 8th March) will see more wind, meaning more keel on the boat as the bad weather passes them and heads to the west. Ian Walker, the Volvo Ocean Race skipper, said: “Today the celebrity crew need to be very careful when working on the yacht due to the angle of the boat, as we are racing against the elements to get around Land’s End.”

The celebrity crew are paired up into a buddy system so they are able to carry out their daily tasks in four hour shifts, which include manually hoisting the huge sails, steering the boat and much more. However, this also means they never get any longer than four hours to sleep and rest-up. The team are living, sleeping and working on the Volvo Ocean 65 - a carbon-fibre speed machine that has been optimized for maximum performance. At 65 feet, and weighing in at 12,500 kgs the vessel is as long as five cars and weighs the equivalent of twelve great white sharks.

The incredible feat kicked off in Belfast on Monday 7th March after a weekend of intense training, with viewers able to track the team’s progress each day by tuning in for live updates on BBC1’s The One Show, every day from 7pm. Suzi Perry will also be chatting to Simon Mayo live on BBC Radio 2 every day during the challenge.

  • The crew need the public’s support to spur them on at sea by sponsoring them now at sportrelief.com/highseas

  • Inspired by the challenge? Then take on your own challenge by signing up to the Sport Relief Games, go to sportrelief.com/events to find out how.

The money raised from the BT Sport Relief Challenge: Hell on High Seas will help transform the lives of some of the most disadvantaged people both at home in the UK and across the world’s poorest communities.

The BT Sport Relief Challenge: Hell on High Seas isn’t the first Sport Relief Challenge BT has sponsored. From Davina’s Beyond Breaking Point, John Bishop’s Week of Hell, David Walliams’ epic swims, not to mention Jo Brand’s Hell of a Walk earlier this year where she trekked an incredible 135 miles from one side of the country to the other; BT has been there all the way.



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Comic Relief is a UK charity which aim to create a just world, free from poverty – where everyone is safe, healthy, educated and empowered. Since 1985, Comic Relief has raised over £1 billion. That money has helped, and is helping, people living incredible tough lives, both here at home in the UK and across the world.

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