The Team

Ellis Hagger

I am a 47 year old English teacher. This challenge was set up because of our combined enjoyment of rowing (river/coastal and surf rowing) and the fact that most of us have or will have an experience with cancer (friends/family). I am looking forward to wearing Speedos for up to three months (they will be washed!) and having the chance to see our coastline close up. Having played rugby at Poole RFC I have met some great team-mates from the Marines and so the Royal Marine Charitable Trust is also a very worthwhile cause to row for.

As the oldest member in the crew my task is to keep them out of any pubs we may encounter!!!  😉

Gary Cure

Row,… challenge…focus/charity….friends…. Who could refuse such an opportunity.

1. The row , it will be good to get back in the boat with some old friends who I’ve raced with in the past (last time 2007). I wonder whether we will find that magic feeling again of flying along in the zone…

2. A challenge. We all love a challenge, great to be out of the comfort zone and pushing self. Last big challenge was 2008 and cycling to Morocco with two of the current crew, that was an adventure, I’m sure this will be too.

3. The Focus… Such a really worthwhile cause and a chance to make a difference to people less fortunate than ourselves at this time. It does bring it home when you see a family member/friend fighting cancer.

4. Friends….Well crew mates…. As indicated I’ve rowed in a boat with most of them before. Well I did for a while but then turned to single sculling:)

Row Row Row your boat…..hard as you can!!  Support the team and in turn support people fighting cancer…

Mark Green

Hi there, I’m Mark. I’m a forty three year old ex-electrician turned writer. I met the rest of the crew through Bournemouth Surf Boat Club, which we formed after a stint as rowing extra’s on Ridley Scott’s epic movie, Robin Hood. I have a very personal reason for being involved in this unique fundraising event because both my mum and uncle are cancer survivors. Other members of our family have been lost to this terrible disease. I’m looking forward to the challenge of circumnavigating Britain in an Australian surf boat, but I’m a little bit concerned about rowing all the way wearing only a pair of speedos!

Sean Leddy

I recently learnt to row with these guys with Bournemouth Surf Boat club. I love a challenge! What could go wrong rowing around the country in a pair of speedoes? We managed to flip the boat in my first year training… and we T-boned another boat in a race. Apart from that what could go wrong? Going around the UK to fundraise with a stellar group of friends is an epic journey that I could not miss out on.

Cancer has had a big impact on my family, having lost two aunts and my grandad. The Wessex Charity Trust is an amazing local charity that support local people with Cancer. The Royal Marine’s Charitable Trust is another very worthy cause that supports Marines back at home.

Steen Stones

It all started over a few drunken talks over beers…“Steen do you fancy rowing around the UK in our surf boat?”. “That sounds amazing, let’s do it!”. Fast forward to today, and suddenly the 5 of us are stood in front of the challenge of a lifetime; jack in our jobs, row 2500 miles around the coast of the country and leave loved ones behind for 3 months… “Oh c…..”  But what a challenge! So why am I doing it? How could I not do it!? Take on a mammoth challenge with great friends, see parts of the country we would never see otherwise, meet all the various characters that help make this island, and raise money for 2 great charities!

Cancer affects us all in some way, either first hand or someone we know very close to us that has had to battle against it.  Sadly both my grandparents passed away after a battle against cancer, when I was a child; I never got to know them as well as I would have liked and this is why I want to row for Wessex Charity Trust – to help all those that are effected.

I served 5 years with the Royal Marines Commando’s, and was privileged to work with some truly amazing people.  I saw first-hand how the Royal Marines Charitable Trust supported those who were seriously injured and their families and how they helped the families of those who didn’t make it back. I row for all those men who put their lives at risk in the Royal Marines serving in hostile environments all over the world and for the men and families of those who didn’t make it back…

RM  Dale Gostick

RM.  Rob “The Body” Richards

Pte.  Robert “Chesney” Pearson

Mark Vidler

I was fortunate enough to start rowing at the age of 13 – the sort of rowing that GB is so well-associated with at ‘Boat Race’ and Olympic levels.  But it wasn’t until 2002, living in Bournemouth, that I discovered people were actually crazy enough to take boats out to sea.  I was immediately hooked on the open-water intensity, spray and chop, and we enjoyed success as South Coast Champions.  So when the very same bunch of crazies said they were refurb’ing a beaten-up 25 year old Australian Surf Boat, to circumnavigate the entire GB coastline – a feat never before attempted – I knew I had to get involved.  I’m hoping to turn 40 on this voyage.

 Our two chosen charities are not the most commonly recognised but their support is equally appreciated.  Both organisations are of considerable importance to the crew and we have an opportunity to make a big difference to them.