Transatlantic rowers present cheque to Ramsgate RNLI
Ramsgate RNLI station are presented with a cheque for £2000 from the Atlantic Avengers Rowing duo John Wilson and Ricky Reina.
Back in February 2016 when Ricky was recovering from a knee operation, he could never have dreamed that he would one day row across the Atlantic. As part of his recuperation he was training on an indoor rowing machine at the gym, where he met John Wilson. John was a specialist in indoor rowing, and the pair hit it off. Between them they set a record for indoor rowing, four days non stop, then they decided to try rowing on water.
They bought themselves a 9 metre long, three quarter ton, two man canoe, a Rossiter Ocean II, called Sic Parvis Magna - Small but Mighty. This three year old canoe already had a pedigree as had been used to row the Atlantic and also around Britain.
The duo decided to take a year out of work to train for the crossing, moving from indoors to the Lakes at Lydd and then to Ramsgate Harbour where they would row for 5-6 hours at a time out at sea. The reason for Ramsgate in particular, not their home port of Folkestone, was that the strong tides across the entrance to the harbour meant that they were able to train in challenging conditions.
One day when they were out practising a member of the public raised the alarm, believing that kayakers were in difficulty. Ramsgate RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was launched to assist them but the volunteer crew realised as they approached who the rowers were and after a quick check and a wave returned back to base.
With little support, other than their families, the rowers approached Leven Brown, who is a British Ocean Racer holding five Guinness World Records. He was able to advise them how to prepare for the mammoth task ahead.
They had 2 hour shifts at rowing, and their two hours off were spent trying to sleep, doing squats to keep their leg muscles working, and most importantly keeping clean, as sweat and salt can cause nasty sores. It took them two months to reach the halfway point!
John now holds the Guinness World Record for the oldest man to row from Continental Europe to Antigua at the grand old age of fifty eight. The pair hold the record for the first male pair to row from Continental Europe to Antigua a distance of approximately 4500 miles and the title they are most proud of is, despite all their hardships, they are the fastest out of any category of rowers to row across.
Karen Cox Lifeboat Press Officer email: [email protected] tel:07779848431
Paul Dunt RNLI Regional Media Officer London and South East Email: [email protected] Tel: 07785296252
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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.
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