YBW forum members will be taking part in the fundraising event, from Chertsey to Southampton

A host of YBW forum members are making last-minute preparations for their charity bike ride taking place this weekend, 6 June.

The group of cyclists will pedal the 68-mile route between two MDL marinas, Penton Hook near Chertsey and Ocean Village Marina in Southampton, to raise money for the British Heart Foundation, with donations so far totalling almost £2,000.

Forum member and Sealine owner Gary Pearson decided to organise the event after becoming ill with a heart infection in 2014.

Speaking last year, he said: “I’m fully recovered, but the experience I received from the cardiologists and people involved in diagnosing the problem was absolutely phenomenal, hopefully we can raise as much as we possibly can.

“Those of us of a certain age can become more prone to heart disease, and while the treatment today is fantastic, there is always more that can be done, which is why we are supporting this charity.”

Mr Pearson is no stranger to fundraising, having previously raised £2,500 after cycling from London to Brighton.

The 68-mile route will be broken up into four stages, with the opportunity to stop off at three rest stops along the way.  The riders will then gather at the final stop, before crossing the finish line together.

He says: “It’s still quite a challenge to do that sort of distance, but if you stick together in groups; you can talk as you cycle which should make the event great fun, and boaters banter is always good for a laugh. It’s a very sociable activity.”

After the ride they’ll be a ‘Beer and Natter’ evening for those who took part, as well as family, friends and supporters.

Commenting on the event, MDL Marinas’ head of marketing Adrien Burnand, said: “We are delighted to support Gary with this fundraising initiative for the British Heart Foundation.

“When Gary approached us about hosting the ride, we were keen to get involved and help raise funds for this worthy cause, which we know is very close to Gary’s heart. It looks to be a fun, social occasion, as well as a great challenge.

“Lots of our berth holders will be getting involved too, so it should be a fantastic day. We’re really looking forward to it.”

If you’d like to support the event, visit their JustGiving page to make a donation.