Gladiator Crew's Atlantic Crossing Raises Funds for CANSA

8 April 2024 By Holly Overton

Holly is the editor of Dockwalk. She grew up racing sailboats in England before switching to the world of superyachts and moving across the pond to Fort Lauderdale.

The crew of motor yacht Gladiator has embarked on a poignant journey across the Atlantic to raise funds for a cause close to their hearts: The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA).

Inspired by the memory of deckhand Chris Sparkes’ mother, who lost her battle with cancer 18 years ago, the crew initiated a fitness challenge with a twist. For every nautical mile sailed, each crew member commits to completing one exercise repetition, aiming to cover 4350 nautical miles and raise R150,000 (approximately $8,000) for CANSA.

Their journey began on March 31 after weather set back their initial departure date by a week, and Gladiator is set to complete her journey to the Mediterranean around April 18. “Our conditions have been good so far, we are dodging big swells but that doesn’t stop the crew and I from getting our reps in,” says Chris.

Choosing CANSA as the beneficiary was a personal decision for Chris. “I have seen and experienced the pain and battles that many families and friends go through as they pour their love, strength, finances and everything they have into fighting cancer. CANSA helps so many families with all aspects around treatment and palliative care and the care of the families who are affected,” he shares.

Chris says he has received an “overwhelming” number of messages expressing support. “This small challenge really means something.”

Supporters can join the cause by participating in their own challenges, following the crew's journey on Instagram (@crossingforcansa), or donating to their initiative via GiveNGain.


More from Dockwalk