Comprised entirely of yachting personnel, Cogs4Cancer is an aid organisation that is raising money for the fight against cancer. At the beginning of October 2017, 30 Cogs4Cancer cyclists rode for 10 days to raise as much money for European cancer charities as possible. Superyacht experts from across the world back the event, which sees cyclists cover over 1,400km from London to Antibes.
The community-driven organisation is widely supported by yachting companies and individuals alike. In 2017, Cogs4Cancer raised almost EUR 295,000, meaning that since the organisation’s inception in 2013, over EUR 1,000,000has been raised for charity.This year, Captains and Engineers from various luxury superyachts, including members of the crew on M/Y TURQUOISE, participated in the gruelling bike ride, which culminated with an emphatic sprint into Antibes.
Ben Young, the Managing Director of SYM Superyacht Management and President of Cogs4Cancer, explains a little more about how it works: “This is very much a group effort and whilst I get to piece it together it wouldn't happen without the support of so many people. From a personal point of view, I am driven by the belief that those of us lucky enough to have good health and careers should do all we can to help others less fortunate.”
All of those who assist with the running of Cogs4Cancer (C4C) do so voluntarily, which means that 100% of all donations go to charity (this year’s charities are to be confirmed shortly). C4C is a shining example of how a large number of people can come together by giving up their time and using their combined skillsets for a common good. The C4C volunteers demonstrate how a significant difference can be made to peoples’ lives; it just takes teamwork, dedication, hard work, and the will to make a positive impact.
An altruistic ethos -which permeates C4C in its entirety – is upheld by each and every member of the team: from the riders, who cover their own costs, to the organisers, the medical support team, the bike mechanics, the PR and marketing team, and many others. Ben Young describes it as “charity in the truest sense of the word.”
The event presents a neutral ground where superyacht businesses can unite and support the same cause together. Ben commends its all-encompassing ethos and spirit of solidarity: “It’s not often you see so many rival companies getting behind a common goal and this is another reason we are so proud. Cogs 4 Cancer provides a platform for everyone to get involved.”
While sitting in a pub, a small group of friends once decided to organise a charitable bike ride from Antibes to Mallorca, after another friend was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Thankfully, as a result of the advances in treatment technologies, he survived; but the idea was formed and later blossomed into Cogs4Cancer.
The riders have tackled a variety of routes since 2013, including Barcelona to Antibes in 2015. Ben has ridden each event and his fondest memory was of the first event: cycling from Antibes to Palma, none of the riders had ever ridden multiple days and so they were not entirely sure if they would make it. He recalls, “as the days ticked by and we started to realise that each and every person was going to make it - there was a huge relief and joy amongst the group.”
The 2017 edition of the event was the longest route to date.
The event has earned support from high-profile figures, including Rihanna, Novak Djokovic, Roman Abramovich, Nico Rosberg, and HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. Additionally, it has received support from some of the best-known companies in yachting and even managed to get authorities in Italy, Monaco, Spain and France to close roads and supply police escorts over the years. Both the palaces of Monaco and Bahrain regularly give their personal support and sponsorship to Cogs4Cancer. On 14th October, the cyclists and friends of C4C gathered in Juan Les Pins to celebrate the magnificent achievement.
If you would like to support the cause, you can still make a donation, buy C4C wristbands (as seen on worn by big names like Rihanna, Jenson Button and Michael Owen), join in a future event, or organise your own event.