Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Four men undertake 3,000 mile charity row

FOUR amputee soldiers are attempting to row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic for a Henley charity.

FOUR amputee soldiers are attempting to row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic for a Henley charity.

L Cpl Cayle Royce, Guardsman Paddy Gallagher, Fl Sgt Nigel Rogoff and C Sgt Lee Spencer are taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge to raise money for Row2Recovery, which helps injured servicemen.

The crew set off from La Gomera in the Canary Islands on December 20 and hope to reach English Harbour in Antigua in 55 days.

L Cpl Royce, who had both his legs amputated in 2012 after being injured while serving in Afghanistan, skippered a Row2Recovery crew which completed the same voyage in 2013.

His girlfriend Olivia Shanahan, a performing arts teacher, of Deanfield Road, Henley, said: “I’m really excited for them. It’s such an amazing thing for an amputee crew to do. They are all injured veterans and there are only three legs in the boat between the four of them!

“I had a phone call from Cayle about four hours into the row. He said the wind was not in their favour and unfortunately Nigel was having trouble with seasickness. The support boat had gone and stormy weather was on its way.

“I know what a strong man Cayle is and he has really worked hard for this. He wants to help the other three guys and show that there is still life after injury.”

The crew are also raising money for military charities Help for Heroes, Prince Harry’s Endeavour Fund and Blesma.

They have received messages of support from Olympians James Cracknell, Alex Gregory and Graham Bell, actor Tom Hardy and adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes. A former Shiplake College pupil is also taking part in the challenge.

Tom Brunwin, 32, who was born in Reading, and his fellow Army Air Corps officer Dave Lambert, 33, set off from La Gomera on December 15.

The duo, who have branded themselves “The Atlantic Drifters”, expect to take up to 90 days to complete the row.

They have both completed multiple tours of duty and decided to take on the challenge while on duty in Afghanistan.

They are raising money for Overseas Aid for the Kids of Sierra Leone, which helps youngsters affected by civil war in the country, and a trust fund set up in memory of Lt Dougie Dalzell, who was killed by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan on his 27th birthday in 2010. The pair have already raised more than £26,000.

They are using a 7m x 2m specially constructed boat which has a small cabin for shelter and a device to make seawater drinkable. They are rowing for two hours at a time, followed by two hours of rest in which they eat, sleep and tend to any blisters or injuries.

Row2Recovery is supported by the Endeavour Fund, created by Prince Harry and the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. In March last year Prince Harry visited the River and Rowing Museum to award medals to 10 rowers who took part in previous Row2Recovery challenges.

To donate to the Row2Recovery crew, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search for “The Row2Recovery amputee atlantic row”.

To donate to the Atlantic Drifters, visit www.theatlanticdrifters.com



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