Friends of Cheeki Rafiki skipper Andrew Bridge will complete this year's Round Britain and Ireland race in memory of the missing crew

Friends of Cheeki Rafiki skipper

Andrew Bridge will take part in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race in

memory of the crew.

The 21-year-old was due to lead his

friends in the yacht race around Britain, but tragically went missing in the

Atlantic last month after the Cheeki Rafiki capsized.

The Round Britain and Ireland Race will

set off from Cowes on 10 August with

11 different nations taking part.

Crewmember and retired police officer

Roger Swift said: “We wanted to do the race in memory of Andy who should have been

with us.

“It will be a bittersweet occasion for

us. Even just getting together to train for the first time next weekend will be

bittersweet. Cheeki Rafiki should

have been back in her home port of Southampton and we should have been out training

on her with Andy.” 

The crew for this year’s race includes

Nicky Evans who began the online petition calling on the US Coast Guard to

resume the search for the missing men.

“I think it will be particularly hard

for Nicky as when we last sailed with Andy she was very ill and he really

looked after her”, Mr Swift added.

The crew also recently raised more than

£20,000 for the RNLI following the tragedy.

Along with the fundraising by Andrew’s

friends, an RNLI tribute fund has been set up by the families of the Cheeki

crew. They want to raise money to promote the work of the RNLI and to

fund personal locator beacons for RNLI crew.

Andrew Bridge was one of four

crewmembers heading back to Southampton having competed in Antigua Sailing Week.

The group, including Paul Goslin, Steve

Warren and James Male, got into difficulties when their Beneteau First 40.7 began

taking on water on 15 May around 1,000 miles off Cape Cod.

Communication with the crew was lost

the next day and after extensive searches by the US Coast Guard, the men were

unable to be found.

The yacht’s upturned hull was later

located and investigators found the unused liferaft still on board.

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