Lyme Regis Gig Club's Nigel Le Gassick joins team for record attempt row around British Isles
Wednesday 29th March 2017
Lyme Regis Gig Club's Nigel Le Gassick will be among a team of four to take on a non-stop row around the British Isles this September.
Former Lyme Regis Gig Club's Men's Captain, Nigel has joined the Island Voyagers team, which aims to break the world record for the fastest, non-stop, unassisted row around the British Isles in aid of The Honeypot Children's Charity.
Nigel will be the latest Lyme Regis Gig Club member to take on a record attempt ocean row, with Brian Fletcher, Chris Walters, Tony Short and Elliot Dale having previously rowed accross the Atlantic East to West in 2011 and Elliot and Chris making a second crossing from New York to The Isles of Scilly in 2014.
The current record for an unassisted, non-stop team row around the British Isles stands at 26 days and nine hours and the Island Voyagers team are setting off on the 2,100 mile route from Calshot Activity Centre near Southampton at 12 noon on July 8th with hopes of beating it.
The Challenge was the idea of skipper Jeremy Webb, 46 from Southampton who was also part of the six-man team who rowed the North Atlantic in 39 days in 2014 setting a record for the most distance covered in 24 hours. After completing this Atlantic crossing, Jeremy was keen to find his next challenge and said that a row around the British Isles was a 'unique way' to see the British coastline.
Jeremy has teamed up with fellow Ilfracombe Gig Club member, 20 year old Rhys Dean from Lynton and they recruited Nigel, 32 who was already considering a solo row around the British Isles. The fourth and final member of the four-man crew is Duncan Tebb, 35 who currently lives in Sydney, Australia.
The team will be rowing in their boat 'Island Voyagers', which they launched into the sea for the first time since its refit on Saturday, when they rowed out of The Cobb, in Lyme Regis for a practise session. THe boat is no stranger to long distance rows. It was first built by Justin Adkin, of Axminster based Sea Sabre in 2005, when she was known as 'All Relative'.
Once built, Justin rowed 'All Relative' with a crew of four accross the Mid Atlantic route in 2007. The boat was the renamed 'Go Commando' by Royal Marine Orlando Rodgers who also rowed accross the Atlantic in 2011, she was the renamed again and as the 'Seagals' rowed around Great Britain participating in the GB row 2011. The boats illustrious history continued when she took part in the 2011 Mid Atlantic race but was abandoned by the crew half way accross. The boat was discovered off the Dominican Republic by fishermen who claimed salvage rights!
This tough boat was later purchased by Simon Chalk and shipped back to the UK and the Island Voyagers purchased her as a shell in 2015. She has now gone full circle and has been given an extensive refit by its original builder, Justin.
The crew will row in pairs on two-hour shifts, with two small cabins for one pair to rest in during breaks. The boat has been fitted with a solar-powered water filter, which turns salt sea water into fresh water, and the crew will be refuelling on freeze-dried food and chocolate bars.
The crew are now planning an official launch in Lyme Regis later this year, and a practise row to the Isles of Scilly over the May Bank Holiday, to coinside with the Cornish Pilot Gig World Championships before rowing Island Voyager back to Cornwall. When the set off on their main Challenge, a map tracking their progress will be available on their website and rowers from Cornish Pilot Gig Clubs around the country are invited to join them on the water to cheer them on.
Having already spent around £40,000 to get to this stage, the team are now looking for local businesses to sponsor the boat, with details of a number of sponsorship opportunities on their website. There is also the chance to join the team's 100 Club by donating £100, or donations of any size can be made on their JustGiving page. All sponsorship will be split between the cost of the Challenge and the team's chosen charity, which offers both respite breaks and outreach support to young carers and vulnerable children, many of whom would otherwise have nowhere to turn.
For more information on the Island Voyagers Challenge team or sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.islandvoyagers.co.uk or to donate online visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/islandvoyagers. You can also follow progress of the team on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/islandvoyagers or on Twitter @islandvoyagers