At 10 am Pacific time today, Slojo arrived in Nuku Hiva, French Polynesia, completing her transpacific voyage from San Diego—but more important, completing her ‘round-the-clock fund raiser for YachtAid Global, the charitable organization that ensures humanitarian and developmental aid reaches some of the most remote regions of the world. The total amount raised: more than $53,100.
Called the Slojo YAG Challenge, the owners, crew, and guests aboard Slojo took turns running on a treadmill, rowing a rowing machine, and biking in place while the yacht travelled about 3,200 nautical miles. They did this nonstop for 12 days. To raise funds, they solicited pledges from friends, family, and members of the yachting community, anywhere from a penny per nautical mile to a few dollars per mile.
The Slojo YAG Challenge began December 11, with the 15 people onboard all participating. Along the way, they posted updates and photos to a special Slojo YAG Challenge page on Facebook, including pictures of themselves in fun outfits reflecting various milestones. For example, when Slojo crossed the equator, those onboard who had never done it went through some pretty funny rites of passage.
“The level of interest from around the world has proven to us that the charitable side of the yachting industry has a bright future,” Mark Drewelow, founder and program advisor of YachtAid Global, said in a statement. “From the Slojo YAG Challenge experience, I’m confident that YAG can work with any yacht to customize a fundraising mechanism in which the proceeds are utilized for projects that interest the yacht while benefitting the many isolated communities worldwide that need the help.”
The owners of Slojo also released a statement: “We’re all deeply touched with the amount of support we received. We got as far as we did because of all the donors and supporters who rallied us. We’re truly thankful and look forward to working with all the YAG projects that these funds will help fulfill.”
Since Slojo frequents the Pacific, the owners requested that the proceeds from the Slojo YAG Challenge go to that region. As a result, children in the Pacific will receive books and other items to help learn what they can do to protect the environment and wildlife and improve their own well-being.