Spectra Supports Challenge Wales

The annual Round the Island Race, organised by the Island Sailing Club, is a one-day yacht race around the Isle of Wight, an island situated off the south coast of England. The race regularly attracts over 1,400 boats and around 15,000 sailors, making it one of the largests yacht races in the world.

Competitors come from all over the UK, other parts of Europe and as far away as the USA to follow the 50 nautical mile course round the Isle of Wight. Starting on the famous Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes, the fleet races westabout, to The Needles, round St Catherine’s Point and Bembridge Ledge buoy, and back into the Solent to the finish line at Cowes.

Spectra Group (UK) attended the event in partnership with Inmarsat Global Government to provide broadband satellite communications support to Challenge Wales.

After an impressive race, Challenge Wales finished beating again the other Challenge 72’s and the Clipper fleet, with an elapsed time of 11 hours 34 minutes and 36 seconds, 18th in class and 283rd overall (out of 1,204).

Ian Gameson, a Spectra Senior Systems Engineer present on the day, had the following to say:

Fantastic day had by all Spectra and Inmarsat Global Government guests hosted by the Skipper and crew on Challenge Wales. It was really nice to be on board as crossed the line back into Cowes, continuing her winning streak against her “sister ships” in this race.

The warm, welcoming environment and quiet competence of Andy and the crew was the perfect environment to learn and bond despite the stress of race conditions with all guests and crew feeling part of the same team.

Ian Gameson, Senior System Engineer

Spectra Group (UK)

You can read more about Challenge Wales and their performance on the day here.

You can view the the Round the Island Race official leader-board here.

Spectra Group supports Challenge Wales

Spectra Group have recently announced their support of the award-winning sail training charity, Challenge Wales. Together with their partners, Inmarsat and NSSL, Spectra Group are providing the Challenge Wales yachts with broadband satellite communication capabilities.

Dee Caffari, Skipper of Volvo Ocean Race team “Turn The Tide on Plastic”, after introducing the Challenge Wales Young Person’s Environmental Project”


The satellite communications systems that are being provided to the charity will enable those onboard the two yachts to enjoy increased security and safety as well as enjoy an offshore broadband data service. The data service will allow Challenge Wales to increase their profile and social media presence by sharing video whilst at sea.


Challenge Wales is an award-winning sail training charity which operates Challenge Wales | Wales’ Tall Ship (the 72-foot round the world racing yacht) and Adventure Wales (the 60 foot two masted schooner). The charity helps those who step aboard to develop their personal and social skills, giving people a purpose and helping to broaden their horizons, a goal to strive towards, the opportunity to experience the highs of achievement and success and sometimes the lows of failure. Teamwork, leadership, discipline, respect for others and communication skills are all developed while onboard one of their vessels. Challenge Wales provides controlled life-learning for those aged 12 – 25 years.

Spectra’s Ian Gameson and Damian Lewis of Inmarsat with Challenge Wales’ skipper, Andy Hall. Spectra has joined with Inmarsat and NSSL Global to equip Challenge Wales and Adventure Wales with offshore broadband communications.

Simon Davies, CEO of spectra Group said: “we’re very pleased to be able to help Challenge Wales in this way as they are a charity based close to home and we believe they share our company ethos of teamwork, personal development and communication”. He added: “together with our partners, Inmarsat and NSSL, we’re proud to be able to help such a fantastic charity by giving them the safety critical communication capabilities we are providing to military, security and emergency services, across the globe”.

Spectra Helping Local Charities

Earlier this year Spectra Group reaffirmed its commitment to charity by supporting Herefordshire fundraisers The Merry Millers in raising funds for St Michael’s Hospice.

Spectra believes firmly in giving back and is a long-term supporter of Soldiering On, SSAFA and more recently, Team Army. So when The Merry Millers, fundraisers-extraordinary of Herefordshire, approached Spectra to support local charity St Michael’s Hospice, the company was more than happy to help out by donating for auction a day in its private box at Herefordshire Race Course.

Bid winner Frank Green with Simon and Paul Davies of Spectra Group.

St Michael’s Hospice provides Inpatient Services and hospice daycare in addition to supporting patients in a range of settings, including their homes. The Merry Millers, well known within the county for their stellar fundraising activities,  chose the Hospice as the beneficiaries for their mini-event at Hereford Racecourse on March 27th. Frank Green made the winning bid for Spectra’s private box and, overall, more than £2500 was raised on the day.

Spectra Group Sponsors Blandford Garrison Golfing Society


On the 20th of September Spectra Group (UK) Ltd continued their support of the Blandford Garrison Golfing Society (BBGS) by sponsoring their Autumn ‘away day’ event in Dorchester. This is the 3rd year in a row Spectra has sponsored a Blandford Garrison golf meeting, demonstrating a long-standing commitment and appreciation of the society.

Based out of Ashley Wood Golf Club Dorset, the society’s aim is to promote golf within the Blandford base (home of the Royal Signals) and the local community, which it has done for many years whilst also providing support for ex-servicemen and women. The society currently consists of 55 people who are all either current Blandford Camp members or ex-armed forces who reside in the local area.

The Autumn event took place at the Came Down golf club, where 24 society golfers took part in a competitive singles round and pairs round throughout the day, separated by lunch at the clubhouse.

Blandford Camp is also the headquarters of the Defence College of Communications and Information Systems (DCCIS) – making Spectra, a leading  supplier of secure satellite services and critical communications systems to the British Army, a natural fit to sponsor the event.

Spectra CEO Simon Davies, who has attended previous BGGS golf days (and has a strong handicap of 14!), stated that the events provide an important opportunity to receive feedback from users – in addition to being thoroughly enjoyable days out.

Lieutenant Colonel Mick Boyle, president of BGGS said “We are very pleased to have continued sponsorship from organisations with direct armed forces links like Spectra. They enable us to carry out the work we want to do; to continue to promote the sport of Golf within the camp and local area”.

Spectra looks forward to supporting the Blandford Garrison Golfing Society and similar events in the near future.