Scottish chef Martin Wishart to sail across Atlantic Ocean for charity

A Michelin-starred Scots chef will attempt to sail across the Atlantic Ocean next month to raise money for a Parkinson's charity.

Friday, 25th October 2019, 1:29 pm
Martin Wishart (left) will be joined on the boat by four other people as they take on the four-week challenge. Picture: PA

Martin Wishart will be joined on the boat by four other people as they take on the four-week challenge, and hopes to raise £40,000 for The Cure Parkinson's Trust (CPT).

A decade ago, Mr Wishart's mother Georgia was diagnosed with the disease, which affects around 145,000 people in the UK.

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Martin Wishart (left) will be joined on the boat by four other people as they take on the four-week challenge. Picture: PA

The chef will be joined on the trip by Rupert Jenkins, Lindsay Henderson, Kenneth Leask and Duncan Lonie, who will sail in a Hanse 415 named Nizuc for 24 hours a day non-stop with a rotating shift of three hours on, four hours off.

Social media pages on Facebook and Instagram will chart the group's progress over the 3,500-mile journey.

Having already sailed trips up to Shetland and across the North Sea to Denmark, the crew are now waiting to leave from Portugal in two weeks.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland on Friday, Wishart said: "Sailing across the Atlantic sets its own unique challenge - for instance, the waves can be huge, although that doesn't usually pose a problem because the boat should actually just surf down these waves.

"But you could come across bad weather, heavy rain. We'll be keeping a firm lookout on the weather forecast and safety is the priority here."

After leaving Portugal they will follow the coast of west Africa before plotting a south-westerly course via Gran Canaria to pick up trade winds and head west towards St Lucia.

Mr Wishart, from Edinburgh, said his "great team" will look after his Edinburgh restaurant, adding he is "in safe hands leaving them running the restaurant while I'm away".

He said: "We came up with the idea back in March so we've been preparing for the nine months.

"A lot of the preparation's down to getting the boat ready with all the safety equipment we need, training involved for the crew and obviously we've been preparing getting the boat ready with food.

"I've got special nets to keep fruit safe and fresh. We'll make fresh bread every day - we've only got a small oven on board - we'll be fishing as well so we hope to catch some fish along the way.

"I think working in the kitchen poses its own set of unique issues day-to-day working with the ingredients that we buy in.

"The galley on the boat is a lot smaller, you can brace yourself, with only two gas rings to cook on I don't think the menu is going to be too adventurous."

So far more than £12,000 has been raised for CPT through the Martin Wishart Atlantic Sail Virgin Giving Money website.

Will Cook, CEO of the charity, said: "We are hugely grateful to Martin for taking on this incredible journey for CPT.

"Not only is he planning this challenging sail across the Atlantic but he has also been working tirelessly to raise money and awareness of CPT's work on finding a cure for Parkinson's in his restaurants and across the culinary industry.

"Thank you, Martin and good luck - may you have fair winds and following seas."