Paddington joins Ellen MacArthur on the EDS Atlantic Challenge
British yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur will have a very unusual crew member onboard Kingfisher when she takes part in her first ever Atlantic Challenge.
Paddington Bear - mascot of leading medical research charity Action Research - will join Ellen and her 4 strong crew as they set sail from the northwestern French port of St Malo on the 3rd July. The voyage will take in Hamburg and Portsmouth before the crew embarks on their Atlantic crossing to Baltimore on the 31st July and Boston on the 8th August.
Britain's most loveable bear will be sailing in his trademark Wellington boots and duffel coat along with a special lifejacket that has been made for the trip.
Ellen MacArthur said: "I am delighted that Paddington Bear is joining us on this trip so I can show my support of Action Research and the valuable work it funds. Medical research is all about pushing back the boundaries - something that I can relate to 100%".
Action Research will be celebrating 50 years of funding ground-breaking medical research in 2002 and such breakthroughs as Britain's polio vaccine, pioneering hip replacement surgery and the first medical use of ultrasound scanning would not have been possible without Action Research's support. Today, the charity is funding work into such areas as meningitis, premature birth, epilepsy, asthma and stroke.
This year sees the 25th anniversary of Paddington Bears involvement with Action Research. The charity is currently in the middle of its Touching Lives campaign that hopes to raise £2million to fund further research into conditions affecting children and families.
For further information, please contact Duncan Barkes at Action Research on 01403 327404 or Rosie Frost at Kingfisher Challenges on 01983 282797.
Ellen captured the nation's hearts when she sailed Kingfisher into second place in the Vendee Globe challenge. She also set a record by becoming the youngest person and fastest woman ever to circumnavigate the world single-handedly in less than 100 days.
The latest news about Ellen McArthur and the EDS Atlantic Challenge can be found at www.kingfisherchallenges.com. Ellen is sponsored by leading European retailer Kingfisher plc., that includes B&Q and Comet in its portfolio of companies across Europe.