Third Asian Challenge raises $570,000 to fund Sailors’ Society’s work with seafarers


TrekTeams from across the maritime industry have completed the third biennial Asian challenge on behalf of Sailors’ Society, raising $570,000 towards the support of seafarers and their families around the world.

Sailors’ Society, one of the largest seafarer support charities operating internationally, organised the ascent of Borneo’s 4,095m Mount Kinabalu in advance of the Sea-Asia exhibition and conference which starts today (Tuesday).

Sponsored by Cargill and Rio Tinto with support from Noble Group, ABS the Baltic Exchange and Wilhelmsen, 45 teams took part, having each pledged to raise a minimum of $8,800. The fastest team this year was Hong Kong-based firm Caravel Group, who completed the climb in two hours and one minute. The highest fundraiser was Noble Group, which raised $35,200

The 2015 Asian challenge money will go toward the Society’s ‘Gift of Education’ Fund providing education, computers and transport for seafarers’ children, and ‘Gift of Welfare’ fund which will include connectivity for seafarers families. The Society recognises the importance of sharing the impact of its work to its donors and will be communicating this as the programme unfolds.

Pete Mannion, General Manager, Fleet Operations, Rio Tinto Marine, said: “It has been both a privilege and pleasure to support the Sailors’ Society in this way. It is fantastic and rewarding to see your corporate dollar put to such good use for such a deserving and wonderful cause.”

Matthew Miller, Handymax Manager, Cargill Ocean Transportation, Cargill, said: “Cargill is very proud of its long association with Sailors’ Society, this year we will celebrate 20 years of support. What a magnificent event, we were truly blessed by good weather on the mountain. Thank you to the Sailors’ Society team for a successful 2015 Asian Challenge.”

Jan Webber, Director of Fundraising for Sailors’ Society thanked the industry leaders who came from the UK and across Asia to take part.

“Our congratulations and thanks are due to all those who took part in the Asian Challenge this year. Donating to a good cause is something we can all relate to, but when people make a physical commitment like this, we are doubly grateful. Completing the challenge is a demonstration of how highly our industry values the seafarers on whom we all rely.”

She added: “Once again we had a magnificent volunteer mountain support team, including mountain leader Harry Abdy-Collins of Guardian Global Resources, Matt Miller, Olof Koning and Alain Lecomte who provided incredible support on the mountain. Harry and Olof spent over seven hours bringing down the final climbers who were struggling, particularly when a thunder storm started!”