The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is supporting three men from the Isle of Man as they prepare for an arduous off-road endurance challenge across Africa later this year.

Steve Christie, Craig Hodgson and Steve Hatton will take part in the Enduro Africa Challenge, which starts on October 2. The challenge will raise money and provide direct assistance for children’s charities in South Africa.

More used to the mud and tracks of the Island’s green lanes, the men will be riding off road motorbikes for approximately 1,200 miles over seven days, for 8-10 hours per day. They will take on some of the world’s most challenging off-road tracks, through thick dust, mud, sand, rivers, ascending and descending steep rock faces, all while under the scorching African sun. Previous participants include Princes William and Harry, who both took part in 2008.

Craig Hodgson explained: ‘When we heard about Enduro Africa and how it improves the life for African children, we put our names down for the challenge without hesitation. I can’t think of anything more satisfying than being able to push yourself to your limits, while at the same time raising money for a very worthwhile cause. Most of all, it will be humbling to actually meet and help the African children who will benefit from the funds kindly donated by individuals and companies in support of those taking part in Enduro Africa.’

Steve Christie said: ‘We are grateful for the support of many local companies and are delighted that the Steam Packet Company will be assisting with our travel costs, not just when we go out to Africa in October, but also when we travel to training events in the build-up to the main challenge.’

Brian Convery, Steam Packet Sales Development Manager, added: ‘As a ferry company, we help many local motorcycle and motorsport competitors in their quest to reach the top of their sport, but this challenge is somewhat different as the lads will be combining their love of off-road motorcycling with actually offering direct support to the townships en route.’

Various fundraising efforts have already brought in around half of the £15,000 target but the men would be grateful for any donations, small or large. For more details on the challenge or to make a donation, please see their website