Sponsorship for major Singapore event

ASP was strongly represented at an historic maritime event held in Singapore in April, when two replica Cornish pilot boats crewed by volunteers set off to row around Singapore Island as part of the fiftieth anniversary of the city-state’s independence. ASP was one of the major sponsors of the event, called Mission RASI, for which contributions were in aid of the Mission to Seafarers.

ASP Singapore General Manager Capt Rob Walker, and Vice-Chairman of the Mission to Seafarers in Singapore, was involved in the overall planning of the event. ASP Group Communications Manager Nigel Porteous, who is Vice-Chairman of the Melbourne Mission, also attended the official start of the row and subsequent celebrations marking the end of the row. He was accompanied by Melbourne Mission to Seafarers CEO Andrea Fleming. Approximately 2 years ago, Ian Teare, Iain Anderson and Lewis Hart from the Singapore maritime community, conceived the idea of celebrating the Singapore 50th Anniversary with a charity event, supporting the Mission to Seafarers, and the Row Around Singapore Island, was launched.

A group of 40 enthusiasts then came together, to plan, organise and undertake the 24 hour endurance sea challenge, backed by 20 support crew. The two boats were to be rowed over 140km, to complete the non-stop circumnavigation of Singapore Island. Selected crews undertook intense regular training and other programmes over 18 months to prepare for the task at hand. During this time the Mission to Seafarers staff, sponsors and shipping industry supporters were also undertaking a well-planned and professional fund raising campaign for the cause. Capt Lee Wai Pong, Executive Director of the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration and Chairman Singapore Mission to Seafarers, was appointed as Ambassador to Mission RASI. Mission RASI is an entirely self-funded challenge with 100% of all donations going to the Mission to Seafarers. Each rower was also required to make a personal contribution to the costs of the event. At last count approximately Singapore $650,000 had been raised by Mission RASI for the Mission. A large number of donations ‘in kind’ were also provided by the Singapore shipping industry and business community.

The send-off for the rowers was held on 22 April on board the magnificent tall ship Royal Albatross, attended by a fleet of support craft and well-wishers. An ‘after party’ was held at the British Club on 23 April after the successful completion of the 24 hour row. Pete Goss MBE, the well-known yachting adventurer, who has supported and advised the venture, gave an inspiring lecture to the participants on his various exploits around the world.

Revd Andrew Wright, Secretary General of the Mission to Seafarers, said: “Raising funds for our work is extremely challenging and we are deeply grateful to the Mission RASI team for their enthusiasm and drive to get this project off the ground. “Seafarers need our help; their work is often dangerous and demanding. Our service to them meets a very real need and it changes thousands of lives for the better. “On behalf of all of us at Mission to Seafarers, and all the seafarers who will be helped as a result of your efforts and generosity, please accept our profound thanks and very best wishes.”