On the third of October 2016, third officer Ruben Donné (28 years young) left the port of Nieuwpoort, Belgium. Setting sail to Cape Town, South Africa via Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. Solo, 14.300km on board a 6.5m ‘long’ sailing yacht. On the third of January 2017, 90 days later, Ruben set sight on Table Mountain, Cape Town.
His mission was to put the disease Multiple Sclerosis on the map and raise money for MS research. Today, no cure yet exists for this disease. Ruben his father has MS.
Over the past year he challenged people to BuyAmile4ms. Selling every nautical mile of the total 7721nm that he needed to sail (10 euro per mile).
“This was an experience of a lifetime. For me personally, I wanted to see how I would react in such unique circumstances. Being so dependent on yourself, thousands of kilometres away from any assistance.
Of course there were difficult moments during those three months at sea. Thinking of what people living with MS go through day by day really made it easy for me to put things into perspective and carry on.”
From national television stations to international newspapers and radio stations; thousands of people followed Ruben his journey.
“I am really happy that through SailingChallenge4ms, we were able to communicate MS in a fun, positive way. That really was my first mission.
Together with sailing organisation ZachteKracht we took teenagers living with MS out sailing. I want to show them that they can do this too. This was such a success that we will continue this collaboration during the summer of 2017.”
On Saturday 25th of February 2017 the closing event of SC4MS took place in Genk, Ruben’s hometown. In the presence of minister Jo Vandeurzen and mayor Wim Dries, Ruben announced the total money raised for MS research.
“To hand over a cheque of 60.000 euro’s to the University Hasselt and the Flemish MS Liga was way above my expectations. Thank you all for accepting the challenge that we successfully accomplished, in every aspect.
Last but not least, thank you to my team who made it possible to set sail in the first place. Without whom this would not have been possible.
Ruben Donné - SailingChallenge4ms
On the 2nd of October 2016 I will attempt to sail across the Atlantic Ocean on a 6.5m yacht, alone.