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Rowhedge couple raise 11,000 for charity with Atlantic row

Rowhedge couple raise 11,000 for charity with Atlantic row

Rowhedge couple Nina and Simon Crouchman are back on dry land after raising £11,000 for The Samaritans with a 66-day row across the Atlantic Ocean. Boosted by sponsorship from Geoquip, the pair took on the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge, leaving the Canary Islands in December and arriving in Antigua on February 16.

The race is billed as “the world’s toughest row” and they spent the journey rowing for two hours on and two hours off on their boat The Kraken, which measures just 24 feet.

Full of (literal) highs and lows, Nina says the hardest part was the last 10 days, when they faced 35-40 feet high waves: “We had really bad weather, we were at the bottom of the waves looking up and just hoping they would break before they got to us,” she said.

“There were freak waves that would literally lift you off your seat, in the last 24 hours the sea chucked every single condition at us that it could. We always knew it was going to be hard and that was what we signed up for though, so we just took one problem at a time.”

That attitude got them through having to use the para anchor (giant parachute under the water) for 11 days waiting for spare parts after problems with the rudder, and the fact that some days the sea was so bad they were unable to eat properly because it was too dangerous to light their little stove.

Alongside the lows however, there were plenty of highs, including an up close and personal visit on Christmas Eve from the superyacht Black Pearl, which sailed past them with everyone singing and calling out their names, as well as spotting dolphins on Christmas Day.

Describing the welcome when they reached Antigua as “brilliant”, Nina says it took her and Simon about 10 days to stop feeling “wobbly” and, because they had lost so much muscle mass and weight, they almost had to learn to walk again.

Now back in the UK, they are hoping to add to their fundraising total and Nina continues: “Without the support of sponsors like Geoquip this trip would have been even harder and we are very grateful to them. Our final aim is to top £12,000, which is the cost of running a helpline for one year and, with fundraising activities including a barn dance lined up, we very much hope to reach our total in the next few months.”

Geoquip sponsored the pair to the tune of £1,500 and its logo was embossed on one of the lightweight carbon oars used almost every day. The oar will now be used by the couple on their school visits when they talk to students about their adventure.

Geoquip is a supporter of the Colchester branch of The Samaritans and stepped forward as a sponsor after Nina gave a talk to branch members last year.

If you would like to support the duo please donate to the following link:

Images courtesy of Mr and Mrseas: