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Novice sailors set to battle the Atlantic

A team of eight novice sailors are set to race across the Atlantic to support mental health awareness.

The Trans-Atlantic Yacht race crew left Gran Canaria last night and are racing in memory of their friend, son and brother René who took his own life two years ago.

Suicide remains the biggest killer of young people under the age of 35 in the UK.

To his friends, his struggles with mental health were very much unknown and the news of his death came as a huge shock. Race4Rene aims to help contribute to breaking the stigma around mental health while supporting two charities who helped them.

Race4René‘s crew set themselves the challenge as they believe asking for help sail shouldn’t be as hard as crossing an Ocean.

The race involves rolling Atlantic swells, torrential rain, 30 knot gusts of wind and a 16-day race over 2,700 nautical miles of open ocean and the majority of the crew, despite being keen rowers, have never stepped foot on a sailing boat before.

Max Zamudio, René’s father, comments:

In January 2017 I lost my son, René aged 22 to suicide. A tragic loss of a young life with devastating impact on our family and the people that knew and loved René.

I hope that through the Race4Rene campaign we will encourage people to talk more openly about mental health and the devastating impact of suicide on loved ones and friends.

We can only hope that through our efforts of encouraging dialogue around mental health and raising money for our nominated charities that we may help save more young lives.

Suicide is still the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK; this has to end.

Papyrus and Child Bereavement UK are two charities that are integral to the support network for families and young people effected by suicide. Each year around 6000 families are bereaved by suicide, with over 200 school children being lost to suicide per year.

The crew are dedicated to raising £150,000 in order to support these two charities, who provide services from helplines to support groups and training for public officials, all of which will contribute to reducing the stigma around suicide and the number of people that suicide effects each year.

To support the team, visit

Founder Member of Campaign Collective, chair of the Public Relations & Communications Association Charity and Not-For-Profit Group. Write mainly about charity, public sector and social enterprise campaigns.