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A crew which successfully completed a trans-Atlantic sailing challenge took with them a flag donated by one of the country’s leading flag firms and raised almost £5000 for a charity which helps children suffering with Cerebral Palsy.

Hampshire Flag Company donated the 1.5m x 2.25m digitally dye printed flag to the Rainbow Centre in Fareham which helps children with motor impairment learn to overcome their difficulties using a learning system called Conductive Education.

The flag was then taken almost 3000 miles on White Whisper, a Beneteau Oceanis 46, from Southampton to Antigua on a journey which took 14 days. The crew of four undertook the challenge to raise much-needed funds for the charity. The single-sided knitted polyester flag donated by Hampshire Flag featured ‘Raising money for’ wording in large print and the Rainbow Centre logo.

Ian Piper, the Rainbow Centre’s Chief Executive said, “The Rainbow Centre makes a difference to so many young lives and we are delighted that Hampshire Flag so generously donated the flag which was flown throughout this adventurous fundraise.

“It was fantastic to see the flag in-situ on White Whisper and it has played an important role in raising not only vital funds but awareness for the charity,” added Ian.

White Whisper’s journey was by no means plain sailing. It originally set off in November last year, as part of the prestigious annual 2,700 mile ARC race, but had to turn back because of a contaminated fuel tank. White Whisper then set sail on 2 February but the auto-pilot failed two days in. When the crew contacted Falmouth Coast Guard to let them know they were having problems they were asked to change course to help two Atlantic rowers a few hundred miles away who were running low on food.

Managing Director of the Waterlooville firm, Graham Wilkinson, said, “As a successful business we believe it is important to support charities, especially those on your doorstep.”

This is the second time that Waterlooville-based Hampshire Flag has supported the Rainbow Centre. In 2007 it spearheaded a recycling initiative on an industrial estate transforming waste into much-needed cash for the charity.

“Our flags are often taken far and wide for worthwhile causes and we are delighted that the flag helped raise the profile of the Rainbow Centre during this incredible Atlantic adventure,” said Graham.