More accustomed to doing business on the water, staff from Geneva-based BRS Shipbrokers took a break to arrange a cycling challenge that raised €35,000 ($38,000) for two charities.

Cyclists from the city’s shipping community completed a lap of Lake Geneva or an alternative 85km route from the city to Montreux to collect money for medical charity Mercy Ships and to help orphans from the war in Ukraine.

The money from the inaugural event was split between the two charities. The money to Mercy Ships adds to the $1.7m raised last year by shipbrokers and traders in Geneva who donated part of their cargo commissions to the charity, which operates two hospital ships in Africa.

The other beneficiary of the charity — Children of Heroes — supports through therapy more than 3,000 children orphaned by the war in Ukraine, organiser Lawrence Blackmore said.