The cyclists are raising money for the Blue Marine Foundation as part of Winch Design's 30th anniversary celebrations.
Prince Albert II of Monaco has welcomed the London to Monaco cyclists after their ten day journey from the British capital and home of Winch Design, as they arrive in the Principality in time for the Monaco Yacht Show.
In SuperYacht World Issue 52 we spoke to Andrew Winch, and he explained that instead of throwing a lavish celebration to celebrate the 30 years of his design company, they wanted to do something a little different. “I love parties I must say!” says Winch. But Jane, Andrew’s wife and business partner, came up with a better idea. “She said we should do something that gives money rather than spends it.” And so, the London to Monaco bike ride was born. “We wanted to do something for the sea that’s given us 30 years of our industry. We really care about the Blue Marine Foundation and trying to clean up the seas and stop overfishing. We want to do something that isn’t about spending money. We can spend £100,000 very quickly on a piece of furniture for a client if it’s got to be unique. It’s not until you try and raise money for something like sponsorship that you realise how much £1,000 is.”
Over 10 days around 70 riders took part in the ride, some riding the whole thing and others joining for certain sections only. Professional cycle events company La Fuga came on board to help plan the route and ensure the safety of the group. Clothing company Le Col provided the kit. “A big thank you to Le Col for the kits and for making us look so great on the ride,” said Jimmy Carroll, head of marketing at Winch Design. “And we would like to say how grateful we are to Blohm and Voss and Imperial Yachts for sponsoring two of our brilliant support vehicles, which not only look great, but that we couldn’t do without.”
Simon Le Bon, environmentalist and lead singer of Duran Duran was there at the start line at the Tower of London to see them off. “The sea is a beautiful thing,” he said. “I think we all grew up thinking it was perfect and untouchable and would always exist, but we know that there’s a disaster unfolding. Over-fishing has caused a terrible crisis. Now is the time to do something. The London to Monaco Bike Challenge will not only raise much-needed funds for BLUE’s conservation work, it’ll also raise awareness of the crisis our oceans are facing.”
The icing on the cake for the riders was being welcomed into the palace of Monaco by Prince Albert II, himself a strong supporter of environmental causes. “In June 2006, HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco decided to set up his Foundation in order to address the alarming threats hanging over our planet’s environment,” explains her excellency Evelyne Genta, Ambassador of the Principality of Monaco in the United Kingdom. “The Foundation is also actively working with the yacht industry to raise awareness on the potential offered by the use of sustainable wood in the conception of yacht design and furniture. This initiative, called the Wood Forever Pact, is promoted during the Monaco Yacht Show, among the yacht owners designers and architects.”