Aspiring young offshore sailor, 19 year old Henry Bomby, who will be sailing solo around Britain this summer has recently received an extra boost by attaining lead sponsorship from the Seahorse restaurant in Dartmouth, run by celebrity restaurateur and writer Mitch Tonks. His voyage will start and finish in his home port of Dartmouth in June. Henry will sail his Contessa 26 ‘Seahorse’ anti-clockwise, along the way competing in the Round the Island Race, the J80 European Championships as well as climbing the three peaks. Henry said he is delighted to have such an enthusiastic partner for the project in the Seahorse restaurant.
In addition to the support from the Seahorse Restaurant, the trip has also been supported by 3 other local businesses, Baltic Wharf, Speciality Fasteners and Foley Steelstock, creating a huge amount of interest within the town. Dartmouth has an incredible history of getting behind sailing projects, and the town is now firmly behind Henry’s voyage. Henry normally competes in inshore racing as helm of a successful youth crew for his founding sponsor, Baltic Wharf. But his heart lies in offshore sailing, so during his A Levels Henry started working on his round Britain voyage to learn more about navigation, meteorology, routing and managing sleep deprivation.
The Seahorse restaurant will be holding events leading up to Henry’s departure on the 12th June, including a grand leaving and homecoming party, as well as various fundraising dinners to help Henry raise money for his chosen Charity ‘Toe in the Water’. Mitch Tonks has become famous for his love of Seafood, TV shows, Books and his previous fish restaurants in London and more latterly the Seahorse in Dartmouth which he opened on the waterfront which is raved about by customers and critics alike. Mitch is also a keen sailor having also recently acquired a Contessa 26 ‘Nellie’. Mitch will be competing against Henry in ‘Nellie’ in the round the island race before returning home, leaving Henry to continue with the remainder of his incredible voyage.
During the trip Henry will be updating his website with news, pictures and videos as well as writing for magazines on his progress in the hope that he can not only raise awareness of the incredible work of the charity but also inspire other young people to go out and realise their dreams.
Henry said, “Having done quite a bit of inshore racing, I now hope to step up and start competing in more long distance offshore races, so preparing to sail around Britain has been a great way to learn about more offshore orientated skills. Navigationally Britain is one of the most challenging places to sail, the world’s largest shipping lanes, tricky port entries, wind farms, moving sand banks, difficult sea conditions the list goes on. Sailing on my own also means I have to know absolutely every aspect too, giving me an all round knowledge.’ He added, ‘Finding sponsorship to support me in these difficult times wasn’t easy, but I have been extremely lucky, and to have The Seahorse’ come onboard as my main partner is fantastic for the project, they have been a great support and are great fun to work with.” “Both Mitch and I share a love for the sea and our little Contessa’s, and I cannot wait to get the two boats sailing along side each other! Competing against him in the Round the Island race will be awesome. The banter for that has already started which is great; I think our friendship will be left on the dock for that one!”
Mitch Tonks said, “Henry is an incredible guy, young, ambitious and with a lot of potential ahead to do great things, it’s great for the Seahorse to be involved with such a worthwhile project and such a great character and my love of my Contessa 26 and sailing will make it even more fun, I hope to beat Henry in my first ever race in her… but probably not!”