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Pudsey the Bear Races in an IMOCA 60 across the Atlantic

If Paddington Bear was the first bear to arrive from Peru, then perhaps Pudsey Bear will be the first bear to cross the Atlantic, on an IMOCA Open 60 state of the art racing yacht with one of the world’s most successful solo sailors, Mike Golding OBE.

Golding, onboard his 60 foot yacht, Gamesa, is in the final stages of the Transat Jacques Vabre, the two handed, 4,500 mile race from Le Havre in France, to Puerto Limon, Costa Rica with his co-skipper Bruno Dubois.

Well, it was supposed to be a two handed race, but Golding has revealed in a call to Race Headquarters that for the past 16 days he has had a stowaway onboard, in the form of a Children in Need Pudsey Bear.

Golding, who has battled 15 foot high waves, and winds in excess of over 50 miles per hour on this Atlantic crossing, has offered to raffle the Trans Atlantic Pudsey Bear in aid of the annual BBC Children in Need appeal, on Friday 18 November 2011.

Speaking from the boat, as they left the Atlantic behind and arrived in the calmer Caribbean waters, Golding said, “It’s been a rough crossing and I must admit that Pudsey hasn’t been that useful – he keeps falling asleep on watch, eating all the freeze-dried food and gets distracted when steering the boat – we’ve had a couple of near misses. He doesn’t say much either…”

“But we are really pleased to be supporting such an important charity and encourage as many people as possible to donate to Children in Need via our Just Giving account, or via our Facebook page. 

“He’s not a natural offshore sailor, this Pudsey, but I hope we can find a new home for him somewhere!”

To be in with a chance of winning the Trans-Atlantic Pudsey Bear, all you have to do is donate at justgiving.com/GamesaSailingTeam by 12:00 GMT on Sunday 20 November. Everyone who gives to Children in Need via this page will go into a draw and one lucky winner will receive both the bear and a pack of Gamesa Sailing Team goodies.

Golding, the ‘King of the Southern Ocean’, will race in the 2012 Vendée Globe – solo, non-stop around the world, leaving France in November 2012. Known as the ‘Everest of ocean racing’, it is the ultimate test of solo yacht racing.

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