Exmouth rowers complete their Atlantic Challenge mission

PUBLISHED: 16:33 02 April 2013 | UPDATED: 16:33 02 April 2013

The Exmouth rowers completing the challenge; Pete Johns, Rob Mew, Billy Baxter and Charlie Angell

The Exmouth rowers completing the challenge; Pete Johns, Rob Mew, Billy Baxter and Charlie Angell


Easter Saturday saw Emouth Rowing Club gather ready to pull in the last few thousand metres to finish the winter Atlantic Challenge.

The original challenge was to simply, throughout the period from when the clocks changed in October 2012 until last weekend when the clocks once again changed, to virtually row the distance from La Gomera, Canaries to Antigua – the classic Atlantic Rowing Challenge distance.

Having completed that distance some weeks ago, it was decided to extend the Challenge to continue to row to Miami Florida, USA. The total challenge distance was 6,845,000 metres – yes, that really is six million eight hundred and forty five thousand, only!

The whole idea has been to get the Club to row together as a community during what is a seasonally quiet period just waiting for spring and a new on water season to begin again. It all seems to have worked well as there have been a total of 56 Club members taking part and adding their personal contributions to the Club total.

Saturday saw some of those members finishing off the distance to ensure the Club finally crossed the line at Miami on schedule, five months after setting out. It has meant some disciplined turn-outs through some very cold, wet and bitter winter nights, but has all been worth it in the end.

Some of the notable rows have included Billy Baxter who covered the most with his 740,33 metres. Next best was the 661,811 covered by seasoned rower Jill Lees whilst Morag van Niekerk, a double gold medal at the Cornish Indoor Championships, completed 537,533. There were impressive contribution from a couple of complete beginners in the shape of Robin Corser who rowed for 533,445 and Jon Houghton who completed 494,545 metres.

Some others to make their mark were Tim Pearce, the junior who rowed the furthest – 193,770 metres closely followed by Max Goodesmith 186,204.

This feat represents some serious work during the winter months. The outdoor season is well under way, with the Plymouth Head taking place this coming weekend, good luck to all Exmouth crews.

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