Ruben Donné, following his epic journey from Belgium to South Africa, speaks to SuperyachtNews and shares his views on how the yachting industry should embrace its role in raising charity. Donné explains the personal motivation behind embarking on this journey, “I wanted to accomplish my childhood dream, sailing solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Then my father, diagnosed with the incurable disease Multiple Sclerosis (MS), pushed me to really go for it.”
Donné raised over 60,000 euros during his grueling 90-day journey from Belgium to Cape Town in his 6.5m yacht. Having sailed as a child, and with Exmar as a cadet, Donné now works for Exmar Yachting, providing management and charter services for the yachting industry. He raised money throughout the year by attending yachting events to engage with the market, selling every nautical mile of the journey. “During the preparation stage of SailingChallenge4MS, I would visit various international boat shows and challenge people to write their name on my sail and ask 10 euro for MS research in return,” he adds.
Commenting on the role of charity within the yachting industry, Donné only has positive things to say, noting the continued charitable efforts seen throughout the years, “It’s impressive to see what has all been done in the past. To name one, look at how the Superyacht Charities (SYC) became to be the Superyacht Charities Foundation. A really great example of what can be achieved with the right mindset and enthusiasm.”
A positive sign for the yachting industry, one hopes that Donné’s actions will inspire more industry professionals to take their professional and personal experience to raise money for good causes. With events throughout the calendar, such as the Superyacht Charities Ball, Cogs4Cancer and Winch Design’s London to Monaco bike ride, the market does work together to raise money for a variety of causes, many of them marine focused. However, according to Donné, there is always room for more, “If anyone involved reads this, I have some ideas,” he adds laughing. Watch this space.
More can be read about Donné’s experiences on SailingChallenge4ms.com