For 24 hours two teams of 10 sailors braved the hazards of Portsmouth’s busy harbour to raise money for charity.

Setting off under a leaden sky they traversed Portsmouth Harbour for a full 24 hours in two Bosuns to cover as many miles as possible and ended up raising more than £1,500 for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC).

The idea for the charity sail was the brainchild of Lee Bichard, a civilian employee who helps run the Royal Navy Sailing Centre, on Whale Island, Portsmouth.

As someone with strong connections to the Royal Navy he wanted to do something to support the organisation.

He said: “I wanted to organise a charity event this year and knew that a 24-hour sail in Portsmouth Harbour had not been attempted before by the RNSC. The RNRMC does some fantastic work supporting those who have lost a loved one in the service so I wanted the proceeds to go to them.”

Night navigation

Starting at 1700, the two teams rotated through the night and into the next day racing from a buoy near the sailing centre out into the harbour on a 1 km circuit. In total they covered 84 nautical miles (96 miles) or 154 circuits.

Speaking after the event Lee said: “It was quite an event and the sailors really enjoyed the overnight challenge as there were no lights out there on the water so they had to do some precision navigation in order to reach the targets.

“I’d like to thank all the sailors who took part in the challenge but it could not have been achieved without the dedication of all involved from the support teams to those that have been collecting since we first started the project in February. We covered in the 24 hours and raised more than I could have hoped for the charity.”