This year, alongside the annual Swim To Bestival (which takes place on Thursday 5th September), organisers are excited to present a brand new initiative – the first ever Row To Bestival.
Representing the Isle of Wight, a team from the newly formed Yarmouth Gig Rowing Club will meet with a team of Royal Naval Reserves sailors from London’s HMS President in Lymington waters on Thursday 5th September. The two crews will then undertake to race each other across the Solent in traditional gig boats in an attempt to raise money for a worthy local cause.
Stopping only to intercept the Wightlink ferry mid-channel to engage in some on-board entertainment, the boats will continue their competition towards the finishing line, located off Colwell Bay, where they will meet up with the Swim to Bestival participants and join in with the well-earned celebration on the beach.
The Island based rowing squad has evolved over the past few years and has attracted attention for having set a British record for a million metre (1000km) machine-based row during AAM Cowes Week in 2011 and for setting a new benchmark time for rowing an adventure gig around the Island in May 2013, both in the name of charity.
On this occasion the crew are looking to raise funds to support the West Wight Sports Centre, a charity owned community centre providing sports, fitness and healthy lifestyle activities in a rurally deprived part of the Isle of Wight. The Centre runs many projects and programmes such as their ‘living with long term conditions cafe’, and the ‘West Wight youth cafe’ and is base for numerous sports and other community activities. One of its most important areas of work is providing swimming lessons to more than 250 children every week.
West Wight Sports Centre is located in Freshwater and is the only facility accessible to the majority of the population in the area. In 2013 it won the Isle of Wight Community Action Overall Award in recognition of its range of activities as well as its under-pinning of numerous smaller community groups, clubs and activities.
Each year they organise the biggest Cross Solent Swim as well as the West Wight Triathlon, Needles XC Half Marathon and many more fitness-related fundraising events.
Sponsor Row To Bestival at; www.everyclick.com/row-to-bestival