RASI Endurance Challenge 2015
A group of 40 enthusiasts from the maritime and insurance community in Singapore have come together, to undertake a 24 hour endurance sea challenge, all in aid of the global maritime welfare charity, The Mission to Seafarers.
Mission Row Around Singapore Island (RASI), will see two teams in ocean-going rowing boats attempt the 140km journey, taking on the seas and shipping lanes (not to mention two live military firing ranges) to complete a non-stop circumnavigation of the island of Singapore. The event itself will be held during the 50th anniversary year of Singapore’s independence and will also coincide with Singapore Maritime Week occurring between 19 to 25 April 2015.
The original idea for undertaking this momentous challenge was born from a friendship between Ian Teare (Norton Rose Fulbright, Singapore), Iain Anderson (RPC, Singapore) and Lewis Hart (Willis, Singapore). The idea quickly captured the imagination of many others from within the maritime and insurance community in Singapore and London. At the invitation of The RASI team, Captain Lee Wai Pong (Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration), who is Branch Chairman of The Mission to Seafarers in Singapore has agreed to be the Ambassador of Mission RASI. In addition to training hard for the rigours of the challenge, the group have planned significant fundraising activities at home and abroad which will aim to raise £375,000 for the charity supporting seafarers in need around the world.
Lee Wai Pong said: “As ambassador of Mission RASI, it is my honour to present this challenge to the people of Singapore in manifold ways as a clear demonstration of how people within our community can unite for a common cause and put their time and imagination to good use. Although the RASI team will be tested to their physical and mental limits of strength and endurance, doubtless they will have a fun time bonding with each other in the process as well. All of us involved wish to dedicate this adventure to Singapore as a present marking the dedication and unity of our community for its 50th Birthday.”
Ian Teare said: “We are all involved in the marine and insurance industries and many of us see first hand, in our professional roles, the hardships and isolation that seafarers endure in their day to day lives. There is a strong feeling among the members of Mission RASI, therefore, that we should do our bit to support the seafaring community. Supporting The Mission to Seafarers to do their good work around the world is an ideal way to deliver our support. We are hoping to inspire people to donate generously and to raise the profile of this great charity, The Mission to Seafarers.”
Iain Anderson said: “I know it sounds a bit of a daft idea but it'll be great fun. As we started to talk to our friends and colleagues in the market we got a core group of people together who were keen to take part- both in the boats and in a support flotilla. We have a training squad of over 40 rowers and 20 crew in support. It is a serious challenge. Each rower will have to do six two-hour rowing shifts as the boats make their way round the island. Heading out into the Straits of Singapore - one of the busiest stretches of water on the planet - in the midday tropical heat is going to be a toughie. But that is what it is all about - pushing ourselves hard so that we raise a lot of money for the Mission. We also want to get people involved and excited about the challenge. We will also be holding a range of fundraising events across the island from now until the row, so please get in touch to show us your support.”
Those behind Mission RASI have been keen from the outset to make it an entirely self- funded challenge so that 100% of all donations go to The Mission to Seafarers. Each rower is required to make a personal contribution to the costs of the event and this has been supplemented by donations from Brookes Bell, The North of England P&I Association, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, RPC, and Willis. In addition from Singapore, the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club (RSYC) has been unwavering in their support and are behind the team 100% by providing a much-needed venue for all its training needs.
Nicky Wynne, Director of Development, The Mission to Seafarers, said “I am absolutely delighted we have been chosen as the charity for Mission RASI. The Mission is very active in support of seafarers in the great port of Singapore, visiting crews on board ships, welcoming them into Jurong Port International Drop-in Centre and supporting them through some of the many challenges they face. Raising funds for our work is extremely challenging and we are deeply grateful to the RASI team for their enthusiasm and drive to get this project off the ground. Seafarers need our help; their lives are dangerous and demanding – without their work most of the basic staples of our daily lives, including food, fuel, medicines, and raw materials, would not reach any of us. World trade is powered by shipping which carries close to 90% of all cargo transported around the planet. I hope you will support Mission RASI to make a real difference to the 1.5 million seafarers around the world.”