SOLO sailor Ian Thomson received a huge boost for his Save Our Seas campaign on Saturday night with members of the Whitsunday Sailing Club and the wider community rallying together to raise just under $7000.
A good crowd attended the SOS Ocean Racing fundraiser at the sailing club with money raised through an auction and raffles.
Thomson hopes not only to break the world record for fastest time to sail solo, non stop, around Australia but also to raise awareness of the damage caused to the marine environment by plastic bags.
Despite the wonderful effort to raise money for the campaign on Saturday night, Thomson is still hoping to secure a naming rights sponsor for the attempt, which is expected to attract national media coverage.
The solo voyager has pencilled in the period between May 1 and May 9 for his departure.
Ideally he'd like to leave on May 1 or May 2 but is unable to nail down a date due to his reliance on weather conditions.
In the meantime he has plenty of last minute adjustments to make to the boat.
Thomson will rely heavily on solar power during his voyage but is still to install solar panels and upgrade the power supply.
He will also be racing in the Whitsunday Sailing Club's Wednesday twilight races and Sunday races until the date of his departure to make sure his sails are ready for the rigours of a journey that he hopes to complete in 50 days.
Thomson has found a lot of support from the local community, which he is extremely grateful for.
“I'd just like to thank the Whitsunday Sailing Club and everyone who's supported me,” Thomson said.
Thomson reserved special praise for the volunteers who were auctioned off on the night, with bidders buying four hours of their time, saying that they had created part of the evening's entertainment.
For more information on Thomson's solo voyage and preparation visit his website – www.sosoceanracing.com.
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