Last Thursday 12 September 2013 the Hastings crew of Duncan Bliss, Paula Hubens, Karen Shepherd, Rowena Suthers and cox Margaret Lloyd-Roberts rowed half way across the English Channel and back, a distance of 36 kilometers, in a time of 3 hours and 47 minutes. The crew took on the challenge to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation and the British Lung Foundation, and to date has collected over 2000 pounds for the charities.
Initially the plan was to row all the way to France, but after French authorities had banned cross channel rowing last July, allowing no rowing boats in their territorial waters, the challenge was adapted to the half way and back version.
The crew set off from Dover harbour in good sea conditions, aiming for the Colbart Nord buoy, the mid-point in French waters. As the French coastguard was not around, a sneaky turn around the buoy just had to be done. The shipping lane was relatively quiet with only a few distant encounters with larger vessels and their wake. All went smoothly until just before Dover harbour, where the incoming tide created some spectacular 6 foot waves. Coastal rowing to the core!
The crew would like to thank the support team of Toby Raine (reserve rower), Tony Burrows (observer), the team of Dover Marine Services who provided the escort, and Dover Rowing Club for use of their facilities.
Many thanks also to those who made donations, your generosity is very much appreciated.
The crew will continue to raise funds for the charities, so there is still time to donate.
http://www.justgiving.com/teams/all-the-way-half-way (British Heart Foundation)
http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/allthewayhalfway (British Lung Foundation)