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Sunseeker team takes on Blue Marine cycle challenge

By Tim Wickham
27 July 2021

A team of four Sunseeker International employees has taken part in the three-day, 210-mile Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) 2021 South Coast Challenge.

Jared Hall from Sunseeker’s design team, Jamie Morgan and John Bytheway from the Poole team and Timothy Robinson from Sunseeker’s facility in Osprey Quay, Portland, raised funds for the work of BLUE, a UK-based charity dedicated to restoring the world’s oceans to health by establishing marine protected areas and tackling overfishing. Its aim is to see at least 30% of oceans under effective protection by 2030. 

The riders went through two areas of outstanding natural beauty, three national parks, and some of the most iconic coastline in the UK. As part of the challenge, which started in Beaulieu, Hampshire, and ended in Plymouth, Devon, riders visited three BLUE projects along the route to see first-hand some of the great work made possible by the money raised from the challenge.

The projects include the Solent Oyster Restoration project, which is helping to restore oyster beds that filter the water column and provide habitats for hundreds of species. This project has already seen some fantastic results, with 12 dedicated sites and 69,000 native oysters returning to the Solent.

Riders also visited the charity's flagship project in Lyme Bay. BLUE has developed a win-win model that benefits the marine environment and has resulted in a 52% increase in species through a sustainable fishing programme. Lastly, the challenge took them to the Plymouth Marine Park, the first maritime national park in the UK, which aims to involve people in the stewardship of UK coastal waters and bring a wealth of benefits to deprived coastal communities.

Andrea Frabetti, CEO at Sunseeker International, said: "We are very proud of the team for accepting this fantastic challenge to help raise money for BLUE and are delighted to be sponsoring this event. Everyone at Sunseeker will be cheering them on as they complete this worthy cause, and we hope that the event raises much-needed funds to support the future of ocean conservation.”

Sunseeker’s sponsorship of this event follows a partnership project devised by BLUE and Sunseeker called Project Menorca, which was created to help create a tangible difference in protecting the marine environment in Menorca. Today, it is recognised as a pioneering programme, providing a blueprint for best practice worldwide.

The project supported local fishers by creating sustainable fishing methods. Also, the project worked to remove plastics and ghost nets from the sea and distributed recyclable materials across the island. The project ran for just over two years and saw the implementation of a widespread education programme, a reduction in single-use plastics by local fishmongers, 143 beach cleans, and 13.5 tonnes of plastic cleared from the island.