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The Tropic 4 Cancer Trans-Atlantic Challenge

Tropic 4 Cancer Trans Atlantic challenge is an expedition to sail single-handed 4000 miles across the Atlantic, from the western seaboard of Africa to the Caribbean. The route follows a defined course along the Tropic of Cancer, which is a circle of latitude running around the Earth at approximately 23 degrees north, and which marks the most northerly position at which the sun may appear directly overhead.


The crossing will be made by Richard Mayon-White, who will be sailing a 21 ft yacht from Gibraltar to the Bahamas.


The primary purpose of the expedition is to raise funds in support of two charities: Sail 4 Cancer and Sobell House. Richard’s mother spent her last few weeks in the care of Sobell House, passing away on the 26th of October 2011. The caring environment offered by Sobell House was amazing. Since his Mum died, Richard has always felt the need to give something back, and Richard has been involved in fund raising projects for Sail 4 Cancer since 2003.


Who is Richard Mayon-White?

Richard is the Director of a number of companies in the Adventure Travel, Expedition and Exploration sectors. He is also a Fellow of both the Royal Geographical Society and the Zoological Society of London, as well as being commercially endorsed RYA Yachtmaster, and has used his sea-faring skills to bring personal development opportunities to a number of organisations and companies.


In his spare time, Richard has travelled extensively – usually on sailing or mountaineering trips, which have included climbing Kilimanjaro and Aconcagua. He has skippered yachts in the Fastnet Race and Three Peaks Yacht Race.


Richard has undertaken a number of challenges to raise funds for Cancer charities:


  • 2003 – Skippered a yacht in the Fastnet Race, crewed by a team of people raising funds for Sail 4 Cancer2

  • 2005 – competed in the Trans-Atlantic Rowing Race from La Gomera to Antigua with his wife Elizabeth, arriving in 6th place and setting a record time for a couple! The row raised funds for Sail 4 Cancer

  • 2007 – Completed the Raid Pyrenee, a 720km bike ride through the Pyreenes from the Atlantic to the Mediterrean, raising funds for Sail 4 Cancer

  • 2009 – Cycled the route of the 2009 Tour de France to raise money for Sail 4 Cancer and the Oxford Cancer Centre.

Why the Tropic of Cancer?


The concept of the Tropic 4 Cancer expedition dates back to when Richard Mayon-White crossed the line of the Tropic of Cancer in 2005 during his trans Atlantic row. At that time, it was simply another thing to do, but his mother’s illness placed another dimension undertaking the crossing.


The voyage will start in Gibraltar at the end of October 2013. Richard will then sail south, following the western coastline of Morocco and the Western Sahara, until reaching the Tropic of Cancer at 23 degrees north. He will then alter course to steer the yacht due west along the Tropic of Cancer, which he will follow for 3000 miles until reaching the Bahamas.


The constraints of following the exact line of the Tropic of Cancer are that Richard will have to deal with whatever the weather throws at him, and will not have to luxury of being able to alter course to gain the optimum benefit from changes in wind direction and strength.


At the time of year that the voyage takes place the prevailing winds should blow from east to west and therefore allowing the boat to be sailed more easily along the course. However, tropical storms and even hurricanes have been recorded in the area at this time of year, although it is uncommon.


Richard will be using a YB3 tracker during his voyage. So that friends, family, fund raisers and supporters can follow his progress across the Tropic of Cancer.


Donations will be used to fund a research initiative run by Sobell House in Oxford which aims to educate, empower and support the lay carers (family & friends) of cancer patients. In addition, Sail 4 Cancer will establish a Sobell House Respite Fund, which will provide appropriate respite holidays and activities for patients and carers involved in the scheme. 100% of donations will go to Sail 4 Cancer and Sobell House. All funds are being equally divided between Sail 4 Cancer and Sobell House.


For more information on Richard's adventure please visit the website.

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