Thursday, 23 September 2021

Legless rowers tell of 46 days of isolation

TWO amputee soldiers who rowed across the Atlantic talked about their experiences at the River & Rowing

TWO amputee soldiers who rowed across the Atlantic talked about their experiences at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley.

L Cpl Cayle Royce and  C Sgt Lee Spencer completed the 3,000-mile voyage with team-mates Guardsman Paddy Gallagher and Fl Sgt Nigel Rogoff in February.

The team, known as the “Legless Rowers”, had all lost one or both legs as a result of attacks or accidents.

They set off from the Canary Islands and arrived in Antigua 46 days later, battling storms, injury and illness along the way.

L Cpl Royce and C Sgt Spencer told an audience of about 100 people how they prepared for the challenge and how they stayed motivated when things became tough.



C Sgt Spencer, who lost his right leg in 2013 when he was hit by debris while helping a motorist in a car crash on the M3, said: “It was great to see people taking an interest in our little adventure because when you’re out at sea you’re isolated from all that.

“You can’t just check your Facebook or your emails. It’s hard to describe what it was like. The sense of isolation was incredible with nothing to see except the sea and sky for day after day.

“It got quite scary at times and we had to make some improvised repairs to keep going but I’m really glad to have been a part of it.”

The men were taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge to raise money for the Henley charity Row2Recovery, which helps injured servicemen.

Proceeds also went to the British Limbless Ex-Servicemen’s Association, Help for Heroes and the Endeavour Fund.

L Cpl Royce, whose girlfriend Olivia Shanahan lives in Henley, will attempt to row the Pacific Ocean for Row2Recovery next year.  C Sgt Spence is considering attempting a solo row across the Atlantic.

For more information, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund.row2recovery



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