Rescued yachtsman speaks to raise funds for lifeboat

Alexandra Wood

LEGENDARY yachtsman Tony Bullimore will be guest speaker at a dinner next month to raise funds for Humber Lifeboat.

The lifeboat, based at Spurn Point, is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year and hosts Humber Yawl Club are urging people to support the event, which they hope will raise more than 4,000.

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Mr Bullimore, who has crossed the Atlantic more than 40 times, promised to return to the club after visiting 10 years ago and is giving his time free. Also speaking at the black-tie dinner and disco at the Ramada Jarvis Hotel in Willerby, is Humber Lifeboat coxswain Dave Steenvoorden, a former fisherman who became a lifeboatman 17 years ago.

The evening, on Saturday February 20, includes a four-course meal followed by a talk and film clips from Mr Bullimore and Mr Steenvoorden who will speak about his experiences at sea.

Humber Yawl Club captain Roger Smith said: “In yachting circles Tony is a legend because he has been doing single-handed ocean racing for years.

“You have to be a superman to do these long distance solo crossings really, and Tony generally sails catamarans or trimarans which are very big powerful things and they are horrendously difficult to handle in storm winds and big seas as they accelerate quickly.

“These guys have to catnap for weeks and months. It is beyond my comprehension how they do it.”

He said he hoped people would support the event: “Everyone who is in the sailing community knows the great job Humber Lifeboat do and the debt many of us owe to them.”

Mr Bullimore was rescued from the Southern Ocean by the Australian air force and navy in 1997 after his boat capsized during the Vendee Globe solo non-stop race. He spent five days in the upturned hull.

Tickets are 35 each and tables of 10 and 12 are available by calling the seecretary Mike Billany on 07831 711113.