Ottery Rotarians set sail for Poppy Appeal

Four Rotarians from Ottery are currently sailing around the Devon and Cornish coast to raise money for injured service personnel.

In 2010, Chris Highnam skippered a charity sail which made more than �20,000 for Help for Heroes, and he assembled a crew to embark on another voyage, this time for the Poppy Appeal.

The team, all members of the Rotary Club of Otter Valley, left from Exmouth on Tuesday, and are currently visiting 15 harbours on the journey to Bristol.

The four men on board the 38ft offshore yacht, Stenfis, hope the ‘Sail4Poppies’ project can also double up as a success for the Royal British Legion Sailing Experience.

The initiative 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.

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’.

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’.

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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, and they are due to arrive in Bristol on August 23.