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Going out with a bang - Why we still need you

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Toe in the Water is a tri-service initiative which uses competitive sailing to re-inspire injured service personnel to see beyond their injuries, and perform to their limits regardless of their physical condition.

About Us

Toe in the Water uses competitive sailing to re-inspire profoundly and traumatically injured servicemen and women to see beyond their injuries, and perform to their limits regardless of physical condition.

Racing with and against able bodied crew members, they quickly form part of a team, and recognise the immediate challenge of competing in such a fast paced environment as one unit. This requires a chain of command, defined roles, uniform, discipline, reliability and competitiveness which of course emulates the regime which has been drilled into as soldiers, sailors and airmen. This commonality is familiar to them, it is structured, and it works.

"The competitiveness and team spirit, they're things you forget when you get injured, but before you know it when the other boats are all around you at the start line, fighting for the best position, it all comes flooding back and all you want to do is win..."

SSgt Chris Pacey

The uniqueness of TITW is that it is based on clinical referral of patients who are identified by the rehabilitation team. Each year up to 70 service personnel are referred to the TOE IN THE WATER programme, most of whom have never been on a boat before, let alone competed in some of the UK's most challenging regattas, let alone against such highly experienced and often professional crews.

Each event is manned by medics, physiotherapists and crew, with safety being paramount. The medical team assess each individual on arrival and together with Capt Lloyd Hamilton MBE RE, the Racing Director, give them a role onboard which will push them to the edge of their comfort zone. In general, the injured crew will receive just one days training before heading out to face the competition.

Lloyd is regularly heard to be saying "We carry no passengers, every man or women on board carry the responsibility of their duties and every one contributes to the success of the team."

During the event, doctors and physiotherapists monitor performance, and following each event detailed feedback is compiled and returned to the relevant clinicians.

TOE IN THE WATER use high performance yachts which are not adapted in any way. This reinforces the ethos which dictates that Toe in the water is about adapting to the challenge, not the challenge being adapted to you.

Our Trustees

We are thrilled to confirm the appointment of two new trustees Lt Col (Rtd) Alan Flavell andConsultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon Philip Rosell who join Capt Lloyd Hamilton MBE, Major Tom Wood, and Chairman, Major General (Retired) Mike von Bertele CB OBE.

Founded in 2008 by Captain Holly King and Tanya Brookfield, Tanya manages the day-to-day running of the organisation under the guidance and is supported by Kate McGougan our part time book keeper, Polly Dawson our part time fundraiser and Capt Hamilton, who runs the racing side of the organisation, in spite of his busy day job as a Royal Engineer in the British Army.

From the outset, Toe in the Water has been fortunate to receive some incredible support, from both the military and sailing communities and we continue to be overwhelmed by the generosity and dedication of so many individuals, companies and trusts, without whom we simply couldn't help so many wounded, injured and sick service personnel.

"The incredibly generous gift of a Farr 52 has enabled service men and women recovering from serious injuries to participate in some really challenging racing over the past year. It allows them to push themselves to their individual limits and forces them to work together as a team. Their response is terrific and I know they are humbled by the opportunity it has given them. As a yachtsman myself, I am delighted to support this wonderful charity."

General Sir David Richards, Chief of Defence Staff.

Our Ambassadors

We are very proud to have three ambassadors – multiple world record holders and all round sailing legends Brian Thompson ( and Dee Caffari MBE ( Dee and Brian were joined by Lance Corporal Chris Herbert who was appointed as an ambassador for the charity in recognition for not only all he has achieved personally since losing his leg in Iraq in 2007, but also for his tireless enthusiasm and commitment to Toe in the Water and re-inspiring other injured service personnel like him.


As in any unit, there are the unsung heroes, all of whom are just as vital in the smooth running of any operation and Toe in the Water is hugely fortunate to be able to draw on a fantastic pool of racing, medical and shore crew volunteers who give up an enormous amount of time each year to race with the injured service personnel who are referred to us.



Toe in the Water continues to be entirely 'need-driven'. As a small delivery-oriented charity, working in the ever evolving military rehabilitation environment, understanding the needs of our beneficiaries and the role we play is paramount and it is this which determines the events we will compete in each season. The programme is prepared in consultation with the medical team in September for the year ahead and as the numbers of wounded, injured and sick service personnel slowly begin to reduce, so our 2015 racing programme follows suit.

RORC Easter Challenge Regatta

Friday 3 – Sunday 5 April 2015

(TitW Event duration: 1 - 5 April)
The RORC Easter Challenge is an ever-popular event regularly attracts a huge range of yachts. Raced on tight Solent courses over the Bank Holiday weekend, the event...

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JP Morgan Round the Island Race

Saturday 27 June 2015

(TitW Event duration: 25 - 28 June)
The annual J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, organised by the Island Sailing Club, is a one-day yacht race around the Isle of Wight, an island...

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Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week

Saturday 8 - Saturday 15 August 2015

(Event duration: 5 – 12 August)
Since 1826 Cowes Week has played a key part in the British sporting summer calendar and is one of the UK's...

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Going out with a bang - Why we still need you

19th May 2015 - As many of you know, Toe in the Water was set up in 2008 in response to the devastating injuries being suffered by a significant number of servicemen...

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Toe In The Water kicks off 2014 Racing Programme at The RORC Easter Challenge

14th April 2014 - Tri service initiative TOE IN THE WATER today launched its 2014 Racing Programme which will see up to 50 injured servicemen and women compete...

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'Team Endeavour' Announce Rolex Fastnet Race Entry Supported by Toe In The Water.

24th June 2013 - Ahead of Armed Forces Day on Saturday 29th June, a group of wounded and injured military personnel today confirmed their entry into one of the...

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Toe In The Water supported by The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry

2nd May 2013 - Tri service initiative, TOE IN THE WATER, is delighted to announce that their entry into this years’ JP...

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Toe In The Water spring into action over the Easter weekend

27th March 2013 - Hampshire based tri service charity TOE IN THE WATER have their first competitive outing of the year as they take on the RORC Easter Regatta in Cowes...

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Toe In The Water announces 2013 racing programme

5th March 2013 - Tri service initiative TOE IN THE WATER today launched its 2013 Racing Programme which will see around 50 injured servicemen compete in key sailing...

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Get Involved

Thank you for choosing to support Toe In The Water.

We rely entirely on voluntary contributions from individuals, trusts and companies and are hugely grateful for your generosity, whether as a donor or a fundraiser as Toe in the Water receives no statutory funding.

The support we receive continues to overwhelm us. We would not be able to deliver what we do without each and every one of you who help raise funds for our charity.

Whether you’re baking and selling cakes or running marathons, the creative ideas we have seen carried out

in order to raise money over the last five years are as wonderful and awe inspiring as the servicemen and women who come through our programme. We couldn’t do it without you – thank you!

There are many ways you can support our work and help us to re-inspire, re-engage and re-integrate injured servicemen by using competitive sailing as a vehicle to help them move beyond their injuries.

Donate Online Now

What other donation options do I have? >

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Sending us a donation has never been easier. You can do it by

By text – just text TITW08 £XX (the amount you want to give) to 70070

Online – go to and follow the simple steps to donate securely online

By post – simply send us a cheque made payable to TOE IN THE WATER to our registered address – Toe in the Water, JSASTC, Haslar Road, Gosport, PO12 2AQ (Remember to send us a covering letter indicating whether you are happy for us to reclaim Gift Aid on your donation.)

Gift Aid

Gift Aid increases the value of donations to charities by allowing us to reclaim basic rate tax on your gift. If you pay higher rate tax you can claim extra relief on your donations. If you claim age-related allowances or tax credits, Gift Aid donations can sometimes increase your entitlement.

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Contact Us

If you'd like any further information about Toe in the Water, or to request a fundraising pack please contact us on:

Postal Address

PO12 2AQ

Thank you for your support

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