Sailors Living With Multiple Sclerosis Win Prestigious Award

A group of individuals all living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) have won a prestigious sailing award at the opening evening of the Southampton Boat Show. The Sailing Today Awards have acknowledged Brighton based Robert Munns and his Oceans of Hope Challenge beating Dame Ellen McArthur’s Round Britain, the Arc 2016 and the Oyster World Rally. Winning in the category ‘Best Cruise’ hopefully gives the green light for more adventures for those living with MS.

Robert sailing with crewBrighton Marina based skipper Robert Munns took, in May this year, took 75 adults with MS from 15 countries on a sailing challenge in Croatia. He devised the ‘Cruise’ himself because as someone also with MS, he wanted to give people with the disease the same life affirming experience which he had whilst sailing with Sailing Sclerosis on ‪the yacht, appropriately named Oceans of Hope.

Winning this award Robert said – “This is totally unbelievable and amazing and I can’t thank the readers of Sailing Today enough for acknowledging all of our efforts. 
“My MS diagnosis in 2008 was life changing because it is such a vicious illness with no cure” explained Robert, “but by creating a sailing adventure I realised that I could help to change the perception of multiple sclerosis by showing others that there is life after diagnosis. It is possible that in just one week, people with a chronic disease can be empowered to conquer their individual challenges.

The Oceans of Hope Challenge in May was a flotilla of ten sailing boats. Its aim was to bring people together whose lives are touched by MS. The week-long adventure gave participants the opportunity to challenge themselves making the impossible – possible, whilst working together for a common goal, ‘hope and meaning’. On a flotilla sailing challenge, each person has the chance to take command of the boat and their lives and everyone has a valuable part to play, as well as contributing to an enjoyable life at sea.

OOH Crew Debbie Sharpe, Nicola Kaufman, Natalie Kanji and Amanda WoolhamCrew member Nicola Kaufman accepting the award said “It’s amazing to receive such recognition from the sailing community and to know that word is spreading about the wonderful life changing opportunities the Oceans of Hope Challenge offers people living with MS” . Her colleague Debbie Sharpe added “It often seems so hard with MS to achieve much – but we did it !

Robert is now working on a series of challenges for 2018. To do all of this he is looking for more volunteer support and the un-enviable task of raising £30,000 to make it happen.

If you would like to “Come on Board” Oceans of Hope and become a corporate supporter then please email Robert on –

If you know of anyone that will benefit from the Oceans of Hope Challenge then please get in touch at

For more watch this short film here:

Awesome…as always, you’re my inspiration…if it wasn’t for you and your ideas behind Oceans of Hope Challenge, I’d not be the person I am today, Oceans of Hope Challenge has given me the strength to fight life’s MS battles, and to become a sailor and make me human again! Onwards and upwards for the Oceans of Hope Challenge! “
Nick Jarvis Oceans of Hope Challenge 2017