More than 90 employees of Virgin Atlantic are headed to the Caribbean to race and raise funds.

Sunsail is offering up a “fleet” of yachts for use by Virgin Atlantic airline employees in a charity sailing event in the British Virgin Islands.

From 5-12 November 2016, more than 90 Virgin Atlantic employees will be taking part in the Virgin Atlantic Sailing Challenge to raise money and awareness for a selection of charities and projects.


Starting from Sunsail’s headquarters in Road Town on Tortola, the teams will be racing between a number of islands in the archipelago. Along the way, Necker Island — Sir Richard Branson’s private pad on the BVI’s eastern end — will serve as the backdrop for some for the charity sailing challenge events.

Branson, who founded Virgin Group, said the event was a great idea and he hoped to take part.


A view from Necker Island

According to Virgin Atlantic, the sailing challenge is part of their “Change is in the Air” corporate sustainability strategy. The strategy allows employees to undertake far-flung, self-funded events to raise money for the environment, and the company’s community investment programme.

A Virgin Atlantic planning engineer, Rajan Mistry came up with the idea, and the company said many of those participating will have never stepped foot on a yacht in their lives.

Captain Chris Hall, a pilot with Virgin Atlantic since the airline’s creation who has been deeply involved in planning the company’s annual charity challenges, said: “More than 1500 of us have cycled, climbed, run and trekked all around the world … We can’t wait to open up the sails and we hope to raise thousands of pounds for our charity partner Free The Children.”

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