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2023 Ocean Challenge

"Four of us on the crew were wounded in service; Donna had thirteen surgeries and has a double spine infusion and lives from day to day with chronic pain and fatigue - and I'm a wheelchair user, paralysed from the ribs down, so I had to move around the boat on my backside. We also had two sailors with PTSD, so being in the confines of a small boat, living with each other for a week, was extremely challenging."

Veteran Pathway: The Ocean Challenge for Armed Forces veterans

25th June - 2nd July 2023

SWV ran its inaugural Ocean Challenge in 2018 with four international teams training and competing in the famous 'Round the Island Race' in the Isle of Wight. 

Veteran Sean Rose captained one of the teams consisting of former servicemen and women, and his crew was awarded the MS Amlin Seamanship Award for embodying the #RaceForAll ethos of the event. Read the full news story from Yachts and Yachting

Ocean Challenge Week - Isle of Wight - 25th June to 2nd July 2023

Applications are now open for non-serving veterans to apply for an amazing Ocean Challenge Week to be held on the South Coast – ports along the Solent and the Isle of Wight. The closing date for applications is 31st March 2023. 

This is a fantastic opportunity for veterans to learn or improve on their individual sailing skills. In addition, for those new to SWV we offer you the opportunity of a mentoring scheme and a network for those looking to get back into employment. There will also be advice on future pain management programmes that SWV will be running.

Application criteria: 

  • Proof of service (if selected for interview)

  • Non-serving veterans

  • Open to Tri-service

How much will it cost?

The only cost to you is the travel from home to Gosport, near Portsmouth. The sailing trip is paid for by SWV's fundraising activities. The week will include all meals, sailing training and entry to the Round the Island Race. You will need to come with suitable clothing for sailing, but wet weather gear and life jackets will be provided. You will also need to bring your own sleeping bag and pillow. Your only expenses will be evening refreshments. 

Do you have to be a novice sailor?

No experience is necessary.

What is the daily schedule?

A typical day looks like this:

0700 - Breakfast
0900 - Sailing training
1530 - Return to a port – this will be different each day.
1900 - BBQs, suppers and other evening activities.  

Accommodation is board the yachts. On the Friday we will have a small regatta between our own boats and on Saturday 25 June we will take part in the famous Round the Island Race.  

I am prescribed medication, is this problem?

No, if you are responsible for your medication at home you will easily be able to cope on the trip.

I am not at a very high standard of fitness, does this matter?

No, but we would recommend that you partake in a basic fitness regime so that you are able to get the most out of this week.

To apply register your interest here

Closing date for applications: 31st March 2023

We will be in touch within a couple of weeks of the closing date to tell you whether we need further information from you. Please note there are NO WRONG answers. 

Interviews will take place at the end of February/beginning of March.

Please note that there are limited places available.

For further information


Phone: 07990 552718

Become an Ocean Challenge Sailing Buddy

We are inviting applications from volunteers who have sailing experience and/or sailing qualifications to join the team to support this year's veterans. 

If you would like to register as a volunteer, you need to be available from 25 June to the 2nd of July 2023 and be prepared to live-aboard the boats during the week. All volunteers are expected to raise £2,000 to support the challenge.  

Apply to become a sailing buddy

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