Exmouth rower set to complete virtual Mayflower challenge

PUBLISHED: 11:00 02 July 2020

Exmouth rower Craig Chaulk taking part in the Mayflower challenge at home. Picture: Craig Chaulk

Exmouth rower Craig Chaulk taking part in the Mayflower challenge at home. Picture: Craig Chaulk


To commemorate the 400th anniversary of the pilgrims’ voyage in the Mayflower, an Exmouth man is set to complete a virtual rowing challenge.

Craig Chaulk, 36, decided to cover more than 3,000 miles on his rowing machine to commemorate the historic journey, after the Mayflower 400 celebrations were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He began the challenge in May and hopes to have completed 3,150 miles on his rowing machine in the 66 days it took for the Mayflower ship to cross from Plymouth Steps to Plymouth Rock in the United States.

Mr Chaulk, who is editor and founder of coastal and offshore rowing magazine The Wave, said: “Rowing in Plymouth Sound and beyond is always an ever-changing experience, a great form of exercise where you can really escape from everyday life.

“As we could no longer be on the water, I wanted to do something positive with my time during lockdown, what better way than to do this than a challenge that not only commemorates the Mayflower but it combines my passion for coastal rowing whilst hoping to promote an active lifestyle, inspire others and raise money for worthy causes in the process.”

He said the recent heatwave in Exmouth made his flat feel like a sauna.

Mr Chaulk added: “This was made even harder as everyone was out having a good time enjoying the sunshine whilst I was sweating and rowing away indoors.”

As the Stuart Lines Cruises employee passed the half way stage on June 11, he estimated that he would finish the challenge on July 3 or July 4.

He added: “It feels strange and I need to pinch myself that I’m actually now at this point.

“I’ve had highs and lows; it’s during the lows when the words of encouragement and donations that really get amplified to keep you pushing mentally when the body tells you no – so thank you to everyone who has donated and words so far, it’s greatly appreciated,”

Mr Chaulk has undertaken the challenge to raise funds for the RNLI and the Mayflower Offshore Rowing Club of which he is a member.

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