Tuesday, 09 August 2022

Athletes finish 830km charity row in Zambia

MEMBERS of Leander Club in Henley have successfully completed a 830km row in Zambia.

Beanie Garrett, 28, Francis Highton, 27, and Lou Reeve, 33, from Henley, and Zoe De Toledo, 31, were part of one of three crews that negotiated a stretch of the Kafue River in 16 days.

The expedition took them through the Kafue National Park and along the remote waters of the Kafue Flats, during which time they encountered challenging water conditions and dangerous wildlife including crocodiles and hippos.

The athletes were accompanied by rowers from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and other African nations and were supported by medics, guides and drivers. They camped on the riverbank overnight. The challenge ended at the Kafue River and Rowing Centre, where World Rowing and the World Wildlife Fund have launched a project to improve freshwater supplies around the world.

The row was organised to highlight the ecological challenges which the Zambezi river basin faces and to raise money for the centre, which will test the water regularly and carry out wildlife studies.

Mr Highton, who lives in Upton Close, Henley. said: “The team aspect and the group of people we managed to pull together made it the experience it was.

“There were some really quite tough bits — we had to row away from a hippo a couple of times. It was quite exciting but nerve-wracking too.”

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