It was the challenge of a lifetime. Coined the ultimate oar-deal the eight strong crew narrowly missed out on breaking the record of 7hrs 56mins, rowing 50 nautical miles around the Isle of Wight, but raised £4500 for local charity, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.
Setting off from the Royal Yacht Squadron at 06.47 on Friday 31st May, Martin Scotcher, Russell Ince, Sam Grist, Daryl Jenner, Russ Waite, Esiquiel Coelho, John Kerr and Ian Middleton, had the early morning conditions on their side as they flew to the first tide gate and threaded the Needles on schedule.
Battling a strong headwind on the south of the Island, the fight for the record was on. Rowing at an average speed of approximatly 6 knots the crew put in an enormous effort as they reached the halfway point of St. Catherine’s lighthouse four hours in and well on target to break the record held by mainland crew, Langstone Rowing Club.
Team member Martin Scotcher explains…
“We absolutely flew around the first leg, from Cowes to the Needles, and were well ahead of the record pace, but as soon as we got to the south side of the Island we were into a headwind and the tide. The whole south side was choppy and it stayed like that until we got to Bembridge. Breaking the record was just one element to the event though, the main aim was to raise money and the profile of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, which is a fantastic charity.”
With a finishing time of 9hrs 20mins the team were only 1hr 24mins off breaking the record for fastest row around the Isle of Wight, however they did set there own record for the first team to have completed the row in an Adventure Gig. A triumphant result considering the less than ideal conditions they faced on the day. Having raised a total of £4500 for the Trust so far, the team have done themselves proud.
The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust an Isle of Wight based charity that gives young people in recovery from cancer the chance to rebuild their confidence through sailing. Celebrating their 10 year anniversary, the Trust has grown beyond every expectation into a national charity. Working with every young person’s primary cancer care unit in the UK, taking young people aged between 8-24 who are recovering from cancer on four-day sailing trips.
The target is to raise £5000 for the Trust, please show your support.
Sponsor the team – uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/IsleofWightRowers
The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust are now recruiting for next years Ultimate Oar-deal, If you think you have what it takes to row 50 nautical miles around the Isle of Wight please get in touch. Please contact Clare Ryan on [email protected] or call 01983 297750