Ottery Rotarians set sail for Poppy Appeal

Rotarians from Ottery will set sail around the Devon and Cornish coast to raise money for injured service personnel.

n 2010, a charity sail made more than �20,000 for armed services charities, so a crew is embarking on another voyage for the Poppy Appeal.

The team will visit 15 harbours on board the 38ft offshore yacht Stenfis as it journeys from Exmouth to Bristol in August.

The four Ottery Rotarians hope ‘Sail4Poppies’ can also double up as another huge success for the Royal British Legion Sailing Experience.

The project provides an opportunity for injured members of the Armed Forces to take on a new challenge by joining the crew for part of the course.

Skippered by Chris Highnam, Stenfis will call at various ports in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset and hopes to attract summer holidaymakers along the route to donate to the cause.

The crew members say they are ‘determined to promote the magnificent work of the Royal British Legion, especially for those servicemen and women who have been injured in the combat operations of recent years’.

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Chris, who completed the sponsored sail in 2010 from Sutton Harbour, Plymouth to Tower Bridge in London, said he is confident from all the support through Rotary, RBL and 41 Clubs the project has had it will be a ‘resounding success’.

The other crew members are Keith Spittlehouse, a long-standing member and past-president of the Rotary Club of Otter Valley, Mick Hopkins the group’s treasurer, and Roger Hutchings, who recently returned to Ottery after his career in the Royal Air Force.

Terry Blackler is also taking part and will be developing collaborative links with the Rotary Clubs along the route.

Details of how to sponsor the crew are available on, or by contacting Roger Hutchings on 01404 45101, or Carole Arnold on 07769 671 590.

The team leave on August 14, and are due to arrive in Bristol on August 23.