5 December 2012
Billy turned up out of the blue and listened in on a conversation I was having with a mutual friend about the struggle in getting sponsorship. Our heads were close together, a bit like the Smith and Jones act, beads of sweat dropping from my forehead as the office was so hot. He just sat there quietly in the background whilst a call was made to Singapore to see if the Investor was on for for few thousand pounds, but the line was dead and I had to leave for another appointment further down the coast with a fisherman and a plumber. It wasn't the kind of meeting I had hoped for and stood to leave for the door when Billy came over from the corner and said" I like everything about your row, who you are raising money for and can't think why you would want to go to sea in an open boat, let alone an ocean" a small pause.." but I think it's a great story and will grab the public's imagination and support. I'll see what I can do, but no promises. I'll put a call in and we'll speak tomorrow" With that he shook my hand and I left the room speechless, but not expecting much. So many people have the intention, but are unable to help at the end of the day.
On my way back from the meeting with Mr Fish and Mr Pipe the following day, the phone rang and it was Billy. Here we go, I thought, not feeling any excitement at all " Hi Charlie, good news my friend, I have you another sponsor and they are on. When I say that my friend, I mean it. Count them in" and that was the first I heard about The Sun Newspaper. Thanks to The C Group dinner, that connected Tim with Alloma, who loved what I was about to do, who passed it onto Dixie, who's mate listened in on our conversation, I now have The Sun Newspaper as our Media Partner and they are certainly IN. Big time! In less than a week, we have had branding done, a full on photo shoot with the boat and a couple of interviews and the first feature will be in The Sun next week. Thank you Billy. I'll always believe you.
The Sun Newspaper is Britain's No. 1 bestselling tabloid with over 3,000,000 readers on a daily basis. It was only a few weeks ago I saw a smart looking city goer getting off the train with his papers under one arm. He had strategically placed the pink paper inside The Sun so as not to attract too much attention to himself.
The boat "Soma" is sitting right outside my home office with a layer of snow over her. Not really helping the programme. I did an evening talk to The Essex Young Farmers last night and brought the boat along to show off. The evening went well and I had some help from Iridium, my comms sponsor in setting up and was very thankful of their presence. The young farmers raised a staggering £400 for the C Group, their chosen charity for the year. Not bad for a bunch of young ones.
Now I'm off to meet a very special Russian Orthodox Priest who has come all the way from Vladivostok. We will talk about boats, art and the mountains!