The ‘rowed’ to Belgium: A Rasen team’s £12,000 charity endeavour

Round Table rowers
Round Table rowers

An average summer Saturday is most likely spent relaxing with loved ones after a gruelling week at work.

But not for ten members of Market Rasen Round Table.

Round table rowers  EMN-171106-121525001

Round table rowers EMN-171106-121525001

On Saturday June 3, the team of valiant amateur sportsmen spent an unbelieveable 13 hours battling scorching temperatures, choppy seas - and an accidental detour - to row 55 miles across the Belgian channel.

The rowers completed the distance in three hour shifts - with six rowers and one cox active at all times - and each member averaging nine hours’ rowing.

What’s more, an unexpected detour to Dunkirk added another 13 miles - and a punishing extra four hours - to their open water challenge.

But their efforts were ‘more than worth it’ as the team raised more than £1,000 each - totalling £12,000 for the Ethan Maull ‘Up Yours to Cancer’ charity.

Round Table rowers

Round Table rowers

Round Table member and rower Dan Quint told us the row ‘would not have been doable’ without the five months of training the team completed.

He said: “We all followed a training plan starting in January which allowed us to complete the row.

“Paul at Frontier Conditioning in Lincoln was really good to us, and even gave us free sessions.

“With this training we planned to do 55 miles - but were able to complete 68 due to an unplanned detour which took us just off the coast of Dunkirk.”

Dan gave us an account of the challenge - which was not without its ups and downs.

He said: “We set off at 8am from Ramsgate with a support boat and crew alongside us.

“We didn’t finish until the sun set again 13 hours later!

“It was hard, especially when we heard over the tannoy that we’d accidentally headed to Dunkirk and increased our journey length by 15 per cent.

“But once you’re in the boat you might as well get on with it!”

The team rowed in 23 degree heat and, at times, very rough winds.

Dan said: “During hours six to nine we found ourselves in very windy conditions of 15 knotts and above.

“The waves were even hitting the top of our two-storey support boat!

“One stroke our oars were going deep underwater - and the next we were all being thrown out of our seats a bit - but carried on.”

A couple of team members also decided to spend the day without suncream, thinking ‘it would be alright’.

This decision left some team members - Dan included - a very deep shade of pink!

What’s more, the team was so shattered after completing the row that out of the 80 beers they brought with them to help celebrate reaching the finish line... the team of ten managed only four between them!

And to make matters worse, their return journey by ferry was hindered by a broken engine - and it ended up taking them nine hours to return to English soil!

Dan said: “That was particularly annoying, especially as it took us 13 hours to row ourselves to Belgium!”

But ‘it was all worth it’ with the team’s fantastic final total - especially as almost half the final £12,000 total was raised over the weekend of their mammoth rowing effort.

Dan said: “Local businesses have been amazing and have given us fantastic support.

“I’m not sure if any of us want to get in a boat and row again... but the best thing is that we started off as just ordinary - and rather unfit - guys.

“And with our training plan and a bit of grit and determination, we’ve achieved something we can really be proud of.

“Not only this, but we’ve managed a really fantastic total for an important cause, smashing our original target total of £10,000.

“If we can do it, anyone can do it!

“And we will definitely try to keep the fitness up from now on - just not by rowing!”

You can still donate to the Round Table team but going to their fundraising web page https://www.
justgiving.com/fundraising/RasenRowsTheChannel .