25/11/2017 - 16:15


Gosport, Hampshire - 25 November 2017

Oarsome Chance Foundation announces solo sailing legend Alex Thomson as Patron

Oarsome Chance Foundation is delighted to welcome on board record-breaking solo sailor Alex Thomson as the youth development charity’s first Patron.

Gosport-based Thomson officially opened the charity’s new base on Saturday afternoon (25 November) during an event at the waterside premises attended by local dignitaries and representatives from schools and youth organisations in the area.

Thomson said he was “delighted” to be a Patron of Oarsome Chance, a charity which he has been actively supporting this year.

“It’s fantastic to be involved in a project that is having such a big impact on children’s lives by teaching valuable skills and encouraging local children to get out on the water. The work the Oarsome Chance team are doing is really inspiring. They are giving local children an opportunity to learn in a different environment. We had great fun out on the water on Saturday, racing with some of the students on skiffs which they have built themselves,” he said.

As well as engaging and inspiring the students, Thomson’s team have also been supporting the charity with the loan of their RIBs and other equipment.

John Gillard, Principal of Oarsome Chance, added: “We are thrilled to have Alex as an official Patron of our charity, and open the facility on Saturday. Alex is a huge inspiration to our students, and really connects and engages with them and teaches them that anything is possible.” Around 100 invited guests attended the Oarsome Chance Open Day to find out about the groundbreaking work the charity is doing with disadvantaged young people from Gosport, Havant and Portsmouth. Working with 9-19 year olds who are disengaged from mainstream education and at risk of exclusion, Oarsome Chance uses a combination of water-based sport and vocational training to bring about positive change in young people’s lives. Oarsome Chance has worked with over 1,500 children in its first 18 months and seen a real positive change in young people’s lives.

Thomson’s world-class team, Alex Thomson Racing are also based in Gosport, Hampshire. Headquartered at Haslar Marina, Thomson and his team are proud to be based in a prime location on the South coast which offers a deep water berth for their record breaking IMOCA 60 racing yacht, as well as access to a great sailing area in the Solent.

For further information about Oarsome Chance visit:


Media enquiries, interviews and hi-res images:

Anna Wardley, Seagrass Communications on behalf of Oarsome Chance

Tel: 07793 417754

Email: [email protected]

Alex Thomson Racing PR team:

[email protected] / +44 207 025 1378 / +44 774 126 484

Notes to Editor:

About Oarsome Chance Foundation:

Oarsome Chance Foundation is a new ground-breaking charity that aims to bring about change for disadvantaged young people in the Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant areas by using the powerful incentive of sport (coastal and dry rowing) in combination with vocational training (boat building, carpentry and canvas skills). Focusing on young people aged from 9 -19 years old who are disengaged from mainstream education and are at risk of exclusion and suffering disadvantage, in its first 18 months Oarsome Chance has already engaged with over 1500 participants through its rowing and workshop programmes.

About Alex Thomson:

Alex Thomson is the youngest yachtsman ever to win a round-the-world race. When he triumphed in the Clipper Round the World Race in 1998/99, he set a record he still holds today. In 2003, Thomson made a spectacular debut in the world of solo sailing by breaking the distance world record. In 2008, he claimed second position in the Barcelona World Race, setting his second distance world record in a monohull. Following this, he focused completely on the world’s toughest single-handed yachting race: the Vendée Globe, in which the competitors sail 42,000 kilometres non-stop around the world. In 2013, he finished the classic in third place. In 2017, he finished second. He’ll return to the fleet in 2020…