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All aboard for celebrity sailing challenge

March 2nd 2016

Six celebrities will be swapping the comforts of the stage and studio for five days of nautical trials as they attempt to sail around the UK, on the BT Sport Relief Challenge: Hell on High Seas.

The One Show host Alex Jones will be joined by fellow presenters Angellica Bell, Ore Oduba and Suzi Perry, as well as comedians Hal Cruttenden and Doon Mackichan, in the mammoth challenge which will see them battle fearsome winds, freezing temperatures and rough seas.

The challenge, which will be a feat of pure physical, mental and emotional endurance, is sponsored by BT, a long-term supporter of Sport Relief challenges since 2009.

Setting off from Belfast Harbour Marina on Monday 7th March, the crew will attempt to sail around a section of the UK in just five days.

During that time they will be living, sleeping and working on the Volvo Ocean 65 - a carbon-fibre speed machine that has been optimized for maximum performance. At 65 feet, and weighing in at 12,500kgs the vessel is as long as five cars and weighs the equivalent of twelve great white sharks. The largest sail, which the celebrities will have to manually hoist, is as big as two and a half volleyball courts.

Ian Walker, the first British skipper to win the Volvo Ocean Race, will skipper the challenge. “When the sea’s rough, you’re drenched to the core and you’ve barely slept, even the most mundane daily tasks can seem impossible,” he said. “I have already predicted that the BT Sport Relief Challenge: Hell on High Seas will be quite that, and quite possibly colder than any day I have spent in the Southern Ocean last race.”

The money raised from the BT Sport Relief Challenge: Hell on High Seas will help transform the lives of some of the most disadvantaged people both at home in the UK and across the world’s poorest communities.

Viewers of The One Show will be able to track the team’s progress by tuning in for live updates every day from 7pm.

The crew need the public’s support to spur them on at sea. You can sponsor them at sportrelief.com/highseas.

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