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Record-breaking Round Britain rowing expedition – 2010Row for heroes

A pair of army doctors aims to undertake the Herculean task of rowing 2,100 miles (3,380km) around Great Britain unsupported as a means of raising £20,000 for the charities Help for Heroes and the Army Benevolent Fund. On doing so ‘Row for Heroes’ team members Nick Dennison and Hamish Reid, both members of the Royal Army Medical Corps, will secure a place in the record books by being the first pair to complete such an ambitious challenge.

The challenge will commence in May or June 2010 and is expected to take approximately 45 days. Time spent rowing per day may be up to 20 hours. When rowing in inshore waters, tide cycles will have to be respected and will therefore govern sleep patterns, whilst open stretches of sea will demand constant rowing with rowers alternating every two hours. During this whole time they will remain on the boat and will have to be fully self-sufficient. 

Over the last year the pair has spent their downtime from Army commitments training to improve their strength and stamina so they are able to battle against the strong tides and winds they will experience.

Nick, on being offered a £500 grant by the JWCT in March 2010 said “a grant from the JWCT has enabled us to purchase the oars that are going to take us around Great Britain. We are having to take two complete sets of spares to allow for breakages in big seas. Attempting to become the first pair to row around Great Britain is packed with challenges; the biggest of all being the combination of wind and tide which will make certain legs very gritty indeed. We are not in for an easy ride.

See www.rowforheroes.com for more information.


May 2010

“We are pleased to announce that we will be leaving on Wednesday 12 May 2010, weather permitting.

We will row together or sometimes singly depending on wind and tide conditions and Hamish’s idea of being able to sunbathe in his Speedos at sea really will become reality. The 2,100 miles will be rowed continuously and unsupported so unfortunately there be no hopping off the boat for a pub lunch each Sunday and unfortunately we cannot accept salmon sandwiches and canapés from friendly passing yachts.

The Great British coast is already adorned with thousands of wrecks so Hamish, Nick and Komale (their trusty boat) will juggle complex tidal streams and weather systems to avoid becoming another one. Both team members have gone through rigorous Yachtmaster training and now Nick has finally cemented in his mind that a Westerly blows from the West, things are looking up.

Hamish’s rub-a-dub rowing experience has turned out to be a sound basis for his now clinical stroke. Fortunately those doctor soft hands are quickly turning into those of callus-ridden salty sea dog.

Over the last three months fitting in 2-3 training sessions (and the associated eating) each day around clinics really has been a real challenge. We both have fattened up for the row as we expect to become incredibly skinny over the 40-50 days at sea.”

The Jeremy Willson Charitable Trust
a charity registered in England and Wales. No. 1114871