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London to Monaco Ride Raises Significant Funds to Help the World’s Oceans

Bill Springer | November 9, 2022

The fifth annual London to Monaco charity ride to help the Blue Marine Foundation was bigger–and better– than ever.

It’s no secret that members of the superyacht community are some of the most wealthy and influential people on the planet. And many of those wealthy and influential people were in Monaco in late September to see the largest, newest, and most exclusive superyachts in the world at the Monaco Yacht Show.

London to Monaco riders raised over $500,000 for charity and were welcomed by the Prince (blue blazer, red tie) himself!

But as I’ve learned as a participant in the fifth annual London to Monaco charity ride to help the Blue Marine Foundation raise needed funds, not many people know just how dedicated, passionate, and financially committed many superyacht builders, designers, owners, and brokers are to protecting the world’s oceans.

Two of the most passionate and socially responsible superyacht companies to be involved in this year’s ride were Winch Design and Damen Yachting.

Team Winch even built a bike out of sustainable material (bamboo) for this year’s ride.

“Winch Design has been a proud partner of the Blue Marine Foundation since its inception,” Andrew Winch said recently. “Our collective love of the ocean drives what we do every day and our projects are designed with nature in mind. We want to ensure that not only do our oceans remain bountiful and beautiful, but that they are able to continue to support our expanding population and delicate ecosystems.”

The Damen Yachting team was all smiles at the finish.

Meanwhile, Damen Yachting has also conducted cleanups to reduce pollution, and this year and they sent a large team of dedicated cyclists to the London to Monaco ride to help raise critical funds for the Blue Marine Foundation. But then again, this highly effective charitable collaboration is not all that surprising, since the two family-owned companies have been working together since the 1980s.

This year’s ride went up and over Le Bonette–the highest paved pass in Europe.

But Winch Design and Damen Yachting were not the only yachting companies to send large teams on this year’s ride. Superyacht builders Lürssen and Oceanco also had large teams riding and raising money for Blue. And this year was particularly special because the crew of Arthur Blank’s Oceanco-built DreAMBoat not only participated in the ride as a team but also directed their entire charity budget, totaling well over $200,000 (Blank allocates a significant sum to the crew every year to give to a charity they believe in), to Blue’s fundraising efforts.

The crew of DrEAMboat made a huge impact at this year’s ride.

And as one of the lucky—some say crazy—people who have participated in every ride since it was founded in 2016, I can say from experience that the London to Monaco ride does more than just raise money.

In fact, there may be no better example of how teamwork and courage can help us all overcome big challenges than being part of a large group that rides hundreds of miles (in eight days!) over the highest mountain passes in Europe!

Team Lürssen at the finish.

One of the many things I love about the ride is that it provides a way to make a positive impact on one of the biggest challenges we all face–protecting the health of our planet–in personal, practical, and powerful ways. And as I’ve experienced over the years, the simple challenge of being part of a team that rides long distances for a purpose that’s bigger than myself has made me a better person.

The Le Bonette climb was about 15 miles uphill–and even longer downhill.

On top of that, being asked to be part of Damen Yachting’s team this year has been amazing because it helped me foster meaningful relationships with people with similar goals…and get super fit, too!

In fact, we were on our way to a lunch stop at the Damen Yachting shipyard in Holland when–BANG–I crashed…hard…into a rock-solid bollard protruding about three feet up from the side of the road, which many Dutch villages use to tame traffic for pedestrians on the outskirts of town.

My face broke my fall on day two!

The good news was my face broke my fall. And in spite of all the bad outcomes that smashing into a stationary object outside a small village in Holland can bring on, I got off pretty easy.

I’ve had worse road rashes.

I was able to keep riding.

And even the Prince of Monaco had a kind word (and a fist bump) for me at the finish!

There is nothing better than a royal fist bump after a long ride to help save the oceans!

The only question is; am I going to ride again next year?

Stay tuned to find out.