The Wight Crew, a team of seven Island based women who completed a 27.6 nautical mile rowing challenge in an effort to fundraise for charity, officially presented a cheque for £15,000 to Isle of Wight based charity, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust on Wednesday 18 September.
The team also raised over £15,000 for the charity that organized the row, Ahoy, a London based charity that promotes living a healthy lifestyle and breaks down social barriers by providing the opportunity for young people from various disadvantaged backgrounds to participate in water based activities to help develop self-confidence and other essential life skills.
The Wight Crew raised the sum over the course of the past 9 months, beginning back in October 2012 when they first started training with 73-year-old coach, Gordon Groves from Newport Rowing Club, an seasoned rower with nearly 60 years of experience. Fundraising was facilitated thanks to the support of a number of Island-based companies and individuals, including a gala dinner held at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, which featured a set by Radio One DJ Rob da Bank and raised an incredible £17,000 in one evening. Having surmounted their fundraising goal, The Wight Crew were pleased to hand the funds over to charity.
The Wight Crew completed their 27.6 nautical mile rowing challenge on Friday 5 July after 7 hours battling strong tides in their 34-foot fixed seat Waterman Cutter rowing boat. Having originally planned to row across the English Channel from Dover to Calais, the team of women successfully overcame a number of setbacks before the row even began, including regulations imposed by the French Navy that forced last minute changes to the planned rowing route. The course they did complete, which ended up being 5.5 miles longer than the original plan, took the rowers from Dover along the coast to Dymchurch and back.
Celebrating their 10 year anniversary this year, Frank Fletcher, CEO of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust was thrilled to accept the contribution for the charity, “The efforts of the Wight Crew will mean that 30 more young people in recovery from Cancer and Leukaemia will be able to sail with the Trust. I know how much effort the team put into, not only the training for and the row itself, but the fundraising as well. They faced so many challenges and we were honoured to work with them. Everyone at the Trust is in awe of their efforts on and off the water.”
The Wight Crew are Dee Oswald, Rowan Middleton-Leal, Sam Hampton, Vicki Haworth, Caroline Death, Bonnie Williams and Jo Grindley.