A £5,000 thank you

So, the blisters are all now healed and we’re very pleased to say that the sponsorship total for the row across Scotland, including Gift Aid, has gone past the £5,000 mark.  So far, £5,184.33 has been raised for Marie Curie Cancer Care.  To give you a sense of how important the money is, £4,460 will cover the cost of Marie Curie’s entire nursing service across the UK for one hour.

So, a big thank you must go to our corporate sponsor, Equinix, for their very generous support.  And we’d like to thank each and every one of you who sponsored us and helped to create this fantastic total.  So, in no particular order (well alphabetical actually), that means a big thank you to…

Adrian and Daphne, Alexandra Nicoll, Amy, Andrew Lewin, Anna, Barb and Alan, Becks W, Brian, Brian Digney, Bruce, Sue and family, Buxton Victorian. Guests, Carlota, Caroline, Chris Millar, Chris Reed, DA, Darren and Heather, Dave & Lumen, David Evans, Edel Kelly, Eleni, Elle MC, Florence Orchard, Francesca Liebling, Gareth Jones, Gavin Stamp, Geoff and Sue Pring, George and Mona, Graham and Maureen, Hannah, Jamie and Declan, Haw-Yan, Helen and Ian, Ian & Laura, Ian L, Jacqueline, Jane Burt, jean Sampson, Jen & Jesper, John, john and judy stainfield, John Jackson, John P, John W, Kath and Derek, Katrina, Katy & Brad, Kev Sampson, Kevin, Lorraine, Oliver & Emily, KF, Lauren, Linda, Leigh, Malc and Sue, Mandi, Matt Cooper, Matt Rea, Michael and Cynthia, Mike Crowe, Mike jones, Mr Ford, Mrs Burnett to be, Mum and Trev, Mum, Dad & Grandma, Nancy Tapper, Nigel (Dom’s dad), Ollie B, Paddy Burton, Paul Reynolds, Pauline and Julian, Philipp and Gini Frings, Rachel Willox, Rae, Ross & James, Ross, Ross, Ross Saunders, Russell, Sarah, Seymour & Meadows, Stephen Gomez, Stuart from New Zealand, The Harrier, Toby’s Auntie M, Tom Wadsworth, Tony Allen – Equinix, Tony F, Trevor Munien, Uncle Peter Piers Audrey, Walshy and not forgetting Woo!

We’d also like to say thanks once again to Suze, our cox, and Joe, our driver, as without their support this wouldn’t have been possible.The crew, Chris, Dom, Peter and Pete, dedicated this challenge to the memory of Chris’ father in law, Martyn, who sadly passed away this April, only 6 weeks after being diagnosed with leukaemia. Martyn was very supportive of our first row, and although he would have thought us mad, would have been right behind us for this one too. Martyn’s warm and genuine character touched all who knew him, and he gave much of his own time to charitable causes, raising money for the Lions club, the Poppy Appeal and local charities throughout his life.

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Made it! And here’s the video to prove it…

On Friday 13th September 2013 at 8.30am, the Channel Four set out from Corpach near Fort William on the west coast of Scotland, and at exactly 5.30pm on Saturday 14th September, they left the sea lock on the east coast at Clachnaharry in Inverness for the final mile across the Beauly Firth to the slipway at North Kessock.  In less than two days, they covered 60 miles in their boat, the Cul Mor, rowing right across Scotland, the entire length of the Great Glen, including the full 22 miles of Loch Ness itself.

They picked up a few dozen blisters along the way as well as some pretty sore backs and bums, but it was well worth it with more than £4,000 raised for Marie Curie Cancer Care already and more sponsorship still coming in.

A massive thank you for all those who have donated and particularly to Suze, our cox, and Joe our driver who got us through.  This is how it happened…

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The cross Scotland row in pictures

This gallery contains 18 photos.

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The final countdown

With just two days to go, we’re well and truly into the final countdown. Tomorrow, the crew start the long drive up to Ullapool to pick up the boat and then it’s back to Fort William for the start. The row has actually been a year in the making, and what with everything from tracking a suitable boat down in the first place to taking VHF radio courses, to getting the ropes and fenders needed to get a boat through a lock, to all the hours in the gym, it’s been one logistical rollercoaster.

And once we get to Scotland, the fun continues. That’s why we’re incredibly lucky to have some fantastic support in the form of Suze and Joe.

Suze, our cox
Suze is Peter F’s better (sensible) half. She started rowing at University in Bristol, and has 10 years’ experience of bashing up and down rivers in boats across the UK. Having never quite achieved lightweight, she’s stoked to now be coxing, but apologises to the crew in advance for the extra ballast. She figures steering on the Tideway in London for the past 5 years in all sorts of weather, successfully avoiding any collisions with pleasure cruisers, barges, kayaks and shopping trollies is good enough preparation for the Scotland crossing.

Driver Joe
Joe J is our driver and will be manfully towing (with the help of a car) 20 foot of trailer and a quarter of a tonne of rowing boat around the curly roads of Scotland to get us to the start, get the boat out of the water for the night, and out again in Inverness. He’ll also be keeping tabs on us as we go and will no doubt have a steaming mug of tea ready when we finish for the evening, right Joe? He’s well qualified having towed boats around as a scuba diver. Let’s hope he doesn’t have to don his frogman suit to fish us out.

Big thank you to both.

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Scotland row promo video

If you want to know what the row is all about, then just take a look at this…

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Three weeks to go!

With exactly three weeks to go, we’re making the final preparations for the row. The very nice people at Scottish Canals have been helping us out as have the team at Marie Curie. The gym is taking a pounding.

That said we won’t actually be able to make the final arrangements until right before as the direction of the wind will basically dictate which way we row: east to west, or west to east. The plan is to start in Inverness (on the east coast) and finish in Fort William (on the west) but the prevailing wind is westerly. And some days it doesn’t mess around as the Great Glen basically acts as a funnel, channeling the wind hitting the east coast right up into our path. For anyone who has cycled into a strong wind, you’ll know just what a difference that can make.

One of the challenges of long distance rowing as we found crossing the 21 miles of the English Channel is maintaining grip strength (literally being able to hold onto the oar as you row for hour after hour) and toll it takes on your hands. The crew have been focussing on building grip strength (to last the 60 miles) in the gym but this time round we haven’t been able to “grow our own gloves” by spending lots of time on the water. So the chances of blisters are high, particularly given the extra distance. Sadly, as far as we know, they don’t make rubber oars.

We’re doing the row for Marie Curie Cancer Care and if you’d to sponsor us, we and they would be incredibly grateful. Our sponsorship page is https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/thechannelfourrowsscotland. Big thank you!

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STOP PRESS: The Channel Four to row across Scotland

On Friday 13th September, The Channel Four, embark on their next gruelling rowing challenge for Marie Curie Cancer Care following a six hour, Force 5, slog across the English Channel in 2012.

This time we are raising the bar higher, setting ourselves the goal of rowing right across Scotland. Not possible we hear you say! In fact the Great Glen that runs between Inverness on the east coast and Fort William on the west coast is navigable thanks to four giant lochs, including the formidable Loch Ness, and about 20 miles of the Caledonian canal.

Having rowed 21 miles across the English Channel, this is much bigger task. A row of 60 miles which equates to 24 hours of rowing in a 36 hour period. We’ll also be contending with getting our Scottish skiff rowing boat through 29 locks and crossing Loch Ness which is classed as an ‘inland sea’ and where the ‘sea state’ can reach that now familiar figure of Force 5. And we can tell you that’s not fun.

So, in exactly one month’s time please do wish us luck and in the meantime please do dig deep to make a donation to a brilliant cause, Marie Curie Cancer Care. We will be incredibly grateful for any money you can spare.

The crew, Chris, Dom, Peter and Pete, are taking on this challenge in memory of Chris’ father in law, Martyn, who sadly passed away this April, only 6 weeks after being diagnosed with leukaemia. Martyn was very supportive of our first row, and although he would have thought us mad, would have been right behind us for this one too.

Martyn’s warm and genuine character touched all who knew him, and he gave much of his own time to charitable causes, raising money for the Lions club, the Poppy Appeal and local charities throughout his life.

He was enthusiastic about our cross-Channel row last year and even helped our fundraising effort by collecting donations from his B&B guests in North Wales.

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A massive £12,000 thank you

Well, all the sponsorship for the cross-Channel row is now in and counted and The Channel Four are delighted to announce that your donations have resulted in an incredible £10,861.48, equal to £12,184.73 with Gift Aid. All of your kind support is the equivalent to 609 hours a Marie Curie nurse’s time in patients’ homes or 67 full nine-hour overnight shifts. Alternatively it will cover the cost for Marie Curie of running the Marie Curie Hospice Hampstead for two days. Having visited the hospice we have had a glimpse of just how valuable this is. The row is dedicated to Toby Atkinson, an inspirational chap who himself was greatly helped by Marie Curie.

The crew – Chris Dom, Pete and Peter – would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to each and every one of you who sponsored the row and special thanks for the backing of Hitachi Data Systems and BT Engage IT. We’d also like to say another huge thank you to our support crew on the day who braved the weather with us.

The blisters have now healed!

Big thanks,
The Channel Four

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The row, the film…

A short film of our Channel crossing…

 

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The row in the papers

Article in The Echo

Since we completed the row a number of our local papers have run the story.  The Echo in Essex, Toby’s local paper, ran an article including reference to the symptoms of bone cancer, which Toby had.  If you’d like a look, the links to the articles are below.

 

 

 

 

 

The Echo: http://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/local_news/9669214.We_rowed_across_the_Channel_in_memory_of_Toby/?ref=nt

Cornish Times: http://www.looe-today.co.uk/news.cfm?id=15072&headline=Rower%20set%20new%20channel%20record

Western Morning News: http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/Novice-rowers-emulate-Sport-Relief-s-Bishop/story-15922353-detail/story.html

Oxford Mail: http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/yourtown/witney/9675895.Channel_crossing_rower_is_awash_with_pride/

 

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