Blisters, Sweat and Speedos
A 1970s fashion faux pas turned into a passion and adventue, we are a team of adventurous rowers from Dorset, speedos are standard equipment for our unique charity challenge.
On 2nd May 2015, the cheeky chaps will depart from Boscombe Pier, Dorset, in an attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the oldest Australian Surf Boat to be rowed around Britain.
During the course of their three and a half month circumnavigation, a core crew of four will be joined by three auxiliary rowers, assisted on land by several volunteer minibus drivers. Rowing approximately 25-30 miles a day, the guys will camp on land overnight, or take up offers of accommodation from coastal communities.
The expedition aim is to raise £100,000, to be split equally between two charities: The Royal Marines Charitable Trust and Wessex Cancer Trust.
Expedition leader, Ellis Hagger, explained how the idea evolved: “We initially investigated an Atlantic row, but the costs were prohibitive. However, thanks to extensive restoration work on our 26 year old surf boat by local craftsmen; John Clarke and Matt Williams, we realised that we already had a seaworthy vessel.”
With Sir Ranulph Fiennes as their patron, the challenge is already attracting lots of celebrity interest. So far, Pete Goss, Helen Glover and Sir Steve Redgrave have all voiced their support.
How we got here…
We are a small group of enthusiastic coastal rowers from Bournemouth Surf Boat Club who are passionate about living life to the full. Our aim is to boldly row a surf boat where no one has surf rowed before – by circumnavigating Britain and raising as much money and awareness as possible for our two charities.
Bournemouth Surf Boat Club was formed on 4th July 2009 after three members of the team completed a four week stint as marine crew in Ridley Scott’s epic $200M movie, ‘Robin Hood’. Normal rowing would never be the same again, so we swapped the relative tranquillity of coastal rowing on the south coast for big oars, big waves and small speedos!
We have an ‘adapt and overcome’ philosophy that we trust will serve us well for this epic challenge. We’re hoping that the Guinness book of Records will recognise this charity row under the category of ‘oldest Australian surf boat to circumnavigate Britain’. In this endeavour we have again taken inspiration from our participation in the filming of Robin Hood by the words from the movie which we carry with us, inscribed on our 25 year old surf boat: