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Geoquip rows in to sponsor Atlantic charity challenge

Geoquip rows in to sponsor Atlantic charity challenge

Rowhedge couple Nina and Simon Crouchman will soon be taking on the biggest challenge of their life – the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge – billed as “the world’s toughest row”.

On December 11, they will set off from the Canary Islands on a 3,000-mile journey to Antigua, hoping to raise thousands of pounds for the Samaritans.

Geoquip Water Solutions is helping to support them on their journey after donating £1,500 to sponsor one of the lightweight carbon fibre oars, which will be embossed with the company’s logo and presented to it on return.

Geoquip is already a supporter of the Colchester branch of the Samaritans and was inspired to get involved after Nina gave a talk to branch members.

The couple, who have been rowing for about 10 years, are training daily on the water in Brightlingsea, as well as in the gym. They have set themselves a target of becoming the fastest married couple to complete the challenge, which means beating the current 53-day record set last year.

Nina, who is chair of her local rowing club, explains: “We hope to raise £50,000 for the Samaritans, which is a cause close to our hearts.

“This is something I have wanted to do for over three years now, it is the pinnacle of all races and, when we were talking about it during lockdown, Simon suggested we do it together.

“Raising the £110,000 needed just to get to the start line has been the hardest and we are so grateful to Geoquip and our other sponsors for their donation and commitment to helping us.”

Nina admits that, given her dislike of deep water, her worst nightmare would be capsizing, but says all the training will stand them in good stead and they are “mentally prepared” to cope with all conditions that the ocean is likely to throw at them.

The December start date for the race has been chosen so the rowers can take advantage of favourable trade winds and Nina says she is most looking forward to the clear skies and wildlife they hope to encounter en-route.

Thirty teams will be lining up on the starting line, with Simon and Nina the only mixed pair to compete. Their boat ‘The Kraken’ is designed just for the two of them, but while some teams have up to five people on board, others will be attempting the challenge solo.

The couple will be rowing in shifts of two hours each and hope to cover around 70 miles a day, taking it turns to rest in between. The boat has been equipped with solar panels to provide power and is stocked with food, as well as water purifying equipment.

Nina and Simon plan to keep in touch with supporters via satellite phone, sending back images and stories so everyone can keep track of their adventure and they hope that by sharing their exploits online they will continue to add to the total amount of money raised.

To find out more and see how their challenge progresses, visit