Australian sailing legends promote yacht raffle to help kids at Bear Cottage

Australian sailing legends promote yacht raffle to help kids at Bear Cottage

  • Hanse 355 to be raffled for Bear Cottage children’s hospice
  • Famous yachties Jessica Watson and Iain Murray onboard fund-raising campaign
  • Raffle winner to be announced at the Sydney International Boatshow
  • Winner to have two hour sailing session on Pittwater with solo round-the-world skipper Jessica Watson

The winner of the Hanse 355 yacht, valued at [$220,000] will be announced at the Sydney International Boatshow on July 31 by Hanse’s national importer Team Windcraft.

Net proceeds from the “355 for Bear Cottage” raffle will help ensure Bear Cottage raises enough money to assist families coping with the impossible – caring for a child with a terminal illness.

Jessica Watson, who skippered Ella’s Pink Lady into Sydney Harbour in May last year to become the world’s youngest person to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted around the world, is one of many notable sailors and celebrities to support the campaign.

Named 2011’s Young Australian of the Year, Jessica will take the winner of the Hanse yacht for [two hours] sailing on Pittwater north of Sydney.

Others prominent supporters of the fund-raising campaign include America’s Cup yachtsman Iain Murray, Sydney businessman/sailor Marcus Blackmore, and leading tactician and helmsman Michael Coxon.

“Bear Cottage must be supported and nurtured. Bass Straight at its worst is less formidable than the tough hurdles faced by these families, “said Iain Murray.

Marcus Blackmore also said the raffle is supporting a very deserving charity.

“There are very few places in Australia that have such amazing facilities and wonderful staff to support so many children and families who are going through such a heartbreaking and challenging time,” Mr Blackmore said.

Michael Coxon, the MD of North Sails Australia, is a Sydney-Hobart veteran and a regular campaigner for charity. “Last year I sailed on the maxi yacht Loyal whose principal goal is to raise money for children’s charity. Meeting the great sporting and media celebrities associated with this worthy cause opened my eyes to the fact that all of us should help needy children through fantastic charities such as Bear Cottage,” he said.

An initiative of the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Bear Cottage needs $2.5 million every year to provide care and support for terminally-ill children and their families. Located near Manly Beach in Sydney, Bear Cottage is one of only two children’s hospices in Australia and the only one in NSW.  For more information go to

Tickets for the Bear Away raffle, which is being organised by Team Windcraft, are $100 each with a limit of 5,000. Full details of the “355 for Bear Cottage” campaign and how to purchase tickets can be found at