Russell completes his challenge raising £10,500

Wetwheels Torbay

Russell Smart, a director of Wetwheels Torbay CIC, undertook a remarkable 155-mile walk ending on Saturday, raising an impressive £10,500 for the charity. On finishing Russell said “funds will contribute to the running costs of the new boat which is currently in construction by Cheetah Catamaran on the Isle of Wight”. Russell personally visited the factory to witness the boat's progress before embarking on his journey along the entire coastline to MDL Marina in Torquay, where the boat will operate from, enduring challenging weather conditions along the way. 

In an especially poignant moment, Russell was greeted 4 miles from the finish line at Shaldon Bridge, Teignmouth, by his long-standing friend and business partner James Ashton who is suffering from Motor Neurone Disease.  James is the principal funder of the new Wetwheels boat.

Russell gave a heartfelt thank you to all the supporters who backed his fundraising endeavours and cheered him on at the finish line in the rainy Devon weather with special mentions to Torquay Watersports, The Mayor of Torquay - Mark Spacagna, and Denise Clark from Be Happy At Home. 

Russell is keen to ensure fundraising efforts persist to cover the ongoing operational expenses necessary for the success of this non-profit organisation.

The Wetwheels Torbay boat has been fully funded by James Ashton from Teignmouth.  Always loving the sea from a young age, James was fortunate to retire and looked forward to enjoy his time afloat from his boat in Torquay Marina.  Unfortunately the month after retirement he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Today he needs 24-7 care from 2 carers and is permanently attached to a ventilator to keep him breathing. He can't move any muscles and can only communicate with an eye gaze computer.  James' desire was to leave a legacy so others, not ordinarily able to access the sea by boat through illness or disability could enjoy the immense pleasure it brings. With the support of his wife, Joanna and his two teenage boys, Sam and Monty he decided to donate funds to enable a new build for Wetwheels to be located in Torbay.  The boat will service all of Devon, East Cornwall, Dorset and beyond.

Wetwheels foundation was founded by disabled yachtsman Geoff Holt MBE DL and the Torbay boat will be the 8th boat in their fleet.  Wetwheels provides the opportunity for all disabled people, including those with profound and complex disabilities, to access the sea in a safe, stimulating and rewarding way on board specially-built, fully-accessible powerboat.  By offering the opportunity to experience this as active participants we build confidence and improve physical and mental wellbeing. 

The boat is expected in the next few weeks, you can be kept up to date with their progress via social media @wetwheelstorbay.