Multiple Sclerosis New Zealand has been presented with a fantastic opportunity to offer people with MS in New Zealand.Oceans of Hope 2

The Sailing Sclerosis project, Oceans of Hope (OOH), aims to change the perception of multiple sclerosis by showing what is possible when people with a chronic disease are empowered to conquer their individual challenges, by engaging those whose lives are touched by MS and developing networks as a foundation for life changing behaviours.

This project aims to broaden the horizons of those who perceive themselves as trapped by their condition, either physically or mentally, and inspire them to realise that they still have potential to achieve great things.

Oceans of Hope is currently on its 17 month voyage and reaches New Zealand shores in early May 2015 in Auckland Harbour. MSNZ has been approached to promote to people touched by MS in New Zealand with a number of engagement opportunities.

TASTER SAILING DAYS – 9th and 10th MayOceans of Hope 3

In stopovers Oceans of Hope takes people living with MS out for two-hour long taster sailing trips in the harbour. These trips have been hugely successful in all the countries previously visited and provide an inspiring, motivating day out for everyone. No sailing experience is required and guests have the opportunity to steer the boat and help with the sail trimming if they wish. The yacht lends itself perfectly to these trips as it has a deep, safe cockpit that is large enough for everyone.

The boat can take 10 people on each trip.

There will be both a morning trip, (usually 1000hrs-1200hrs) and an afternoon trip, (usually 1400hrs- 1600hrs) with both groups joining together for a light lunch at midday.

Oceans of Hope provide the sailing, waterproofs if needed, lifejackets and the lunch, but unfortunately costs to get to Auckland are not covered.

They have taken numerous people out sailing who use a wheelchair – while wheelchairs cannot go onboard crew are competent to lift the person aboard and guests have a secure seat in the cockpit with a backrest.Oceans of Hope 1

If a guest needs a carer to come along that is fine and carers will count within the 10 people permitted on each trip. Two people who use wheelchairs can be catered for on each sailing trip.

To apply to take part in the Taster Sailing Day please download and complete the application form found on MSNZ website. This should be returned to MSNZ as detailed on the form.

Please return these by Friday 20th March 2015. All applicants will be contacted after this date to confirm is they have successfully secured a place. If places are still available following this date a second round of applications may be opened.

Please note you will need to be able to get to Auckland. We understand that this is financially not always possible and while we do not currently have funding available for this opportunity we encourage all those interested to put in an expression of interest (via the application form) so we can contact you if this does become available.


There are six crew places available aboard Oceans of Hope for two-week long periods between Sydney and Singapore. The schedule for these is not yet concrete however it will be after May and before August. We encourage you to apply for this opportunity and more details will be provided as they become available.

The application process takes a little time and once an applicant is accepted they will be offered a place aboard for a section of this trip. The two weeks aboard will comprise of some offshore days/nights and some days in port. Applicants should have some sailing experience. Applications for these places must be made via this link.

If you want to get a good feel for what life aboard Oceans of Hope is like go to the write daily blogs that the crews are posting on the Ocean’s of Hope Facebook page.

Applicants should be aware that on board they will be expected to join in with all daily tasks as part of the crew.

Please note successful applicants will need to get to their departure and final ports, both of which will be out of New Zealand and will either be in Australia or Singapore. If you are interested in this opportunity but have concerns about being able to fund this we are happy to discuss fundraising ideas with applicants to see how this can be achieved.