Langstone Adventure Rowing, based at Northney Marina, Hayling Island has been working for the last 2 years with a team of doctors and nurses from Southampton Children’s Hospital, to undertake a daring row from Jersey to Southampton to raise funds for the city’s children’s emergency and trauma department appeal.
Known as J2S and described as “epic” by five-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave and backed by double Olympic champion James Cracknell. “Congratulations to all the doctors and nurses taking part in this epic row from Jersey to Southampton to raise money for the new children’s emergency and trauma department. What an amazing thing they are all doing, good luck and well done – they all deserve gold medals,” said Sir Steve.
James added: “I’d like to join Steve in wishing team J2S the very best of luck in this mammoth challenge. Even by pro-rowing standards this is no mean feat, so these amateur rowers are taking on a task of Herculean proportions.
The crew of 12 trained for 18 months to learn to row and cox themselves in the Gig Laura Jane over the 200km Challenge – managing the difficult tides & rocks around Jersey & Alderney; crossing the busiest Shipping area in the world in the Channel and the demanding tidal flows on the West Solent and Southampton Water.
All did not go as planned! One rower was injured, and the crew reduced to 11! Then, as the crew arrived in Jersey on Thursday 7th June, it became clear that a weather front on the south side of the Channel could scupper the ‘midday Friday to Saturday evening’ Row Plan. The whole thing could be cancelled!! So, the crew accepted to bring the row forward and start on Thursday at Midnight instead – turning the row into an even more challenging 2 nights and a day! Arriving at 2.30 am Saturday 9th June in Ocean Village having been on the water for over 26 hours.
Not only that, the early start also meant that tides were against us, where they should have been ‘with us’. Rowing up the Solent, against the tide for 8 hours at the end of the epic voyage was very demanding!
Mike Gilbert from LAR, who trained the J2S team said “We have helped a number of Charity’s fund raisers – from Comic relief to Portsmouth Hospital at QA and I am always amazed at the grit and determination to do these unique events for a good cause. The team even accepted bringing forward the row; and understood it was ‘go early or not go at all’! A really strong crew, willing and able to overcome all the hazards and challenges and row through 2 nights and a day on cat-naps and grazing… they are worth every penny you donate”.
Led by children’s hospital director Dr Jason Barling, J2S followed on from last year’s 350-mile cycle event Tour de Wessex, which saw the team take in stops at all major trauma referral units across the region. The state-of-the-art £5.1 million facility, which will see more than 30,000 youngsters every year, will include an eight-bed observation area, 11 glass-fronted and soundproof cubicles and on-hand x-ray facilities.
Dr Barling said: “Team J2S have been training tirelessly for this event with the support of Langstone Adventure Rowing who have supplied the boat and training to help us take on this extreme endurance challenge.
To fund the project, Southampton Hospital Charity has partnered with The Murray Parish Trust (TMPT), a charity formed by actress Sarah Parish and her actor husband James Murray in memory of their late daughter Ella-Jayne, to raise £2 million.
This will be matched by the government once the total is met and a further £1.1 million allocated by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust. The team have raised over £30,000 so far, plus a special donation of £95,000 to help with the build. With the matching funding this is worth over £260,000 to the build fund.
To donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/companyteams/J2SROW2018 or donate by texting ROWJ55 £5 (or any amount) to 70070.
Thanks to Katfish Charters for providing Manta Ray and her crew… Skippers Tom and Andy experienced a weird 24 hours as well… not fishing – but helping us fish for cash! Alan – the boss – committed the boat and crew at short notice… unique experience for them… and could not have done it without them.
And thanks to the Langstone Cutters Rowers including Steve Woods and Rachel Norris who helped with the training. Thanks to MDL for the berth in Southampton and Harbour Lights for the venue for ta reception to celebrate!
Contact Langstone Adventure Rowing Mike Gilbert at [email protected] .