January 10: We are proud to announce that crews competing in GBRow 2013 will set off from the RNVR station HMS President, just downriver from Tower Bridge. The race is scheduled to begin at around 8.15am BST on Saturday, June 1.
Race Directors Journal
Happy Red Nose Day
Bonuses for Red Nose Day and Children in Need!
Chris Usborne, the Project Director for Virgin GB Row 2011 (that’s him on the right dressed for the occasion) will donate £100 (one hundred pounds) of his own money to Children in Need for every crew entry he has confirmed during the next week, 18-25 March 2011, and Webmaster Rob Dewing has offered to match this with a similar donation to Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day. No catches, no ifs and no buts. So stop thinking about it and get signed up – it’s only two and a half months to the start date, with numerous crews still thinking about taking the plunge.
Do it now and help the Children in Need funds.
Latest Crew News
John Mollison, owner of the ORCA, and his crew Commando Joe, skippered by Mark Waterson, are making final adjustments to their boat before sea trials in the chilly waters off Scotland over the next few weeks.
John, we all wish you and your crew all the very best and hope Scottish TV use the footage wisely. It should be peak time viewing!
The week of training and preparation support available to all crews at Premier Marinas, Port Solent, continues to develop. The Army team at the Joint Services Sail Training Centre at HMS HORNET (Gosport) have offered all crews a half day’s briefing. They are willing to divulge their knowledge of onboard safety, coastal navigation, and teamworking/organisation – the Army way!
A great team, they were very impressive with advice and support offered to Go Commando, winner of the 2010 race.
It’s a Record!
What does Guinness mean to you?
No, not St Patricks Day – that was yesterday!
No, not even the smooth taste of their fabulous drink, renowned and enjoyed worldwide.
Yes – Guinness award World Record status to those worthy of the accolade. It doesn’t come easy!
Guinness World Records will officiate any claims made on new or existing World records, being the final arbiters of their impressive and prestigious award to any crew who can prove they have a valid claim. How many World records will be set, or broken this year? Only time will tell. But you have to be in it to win it! It’s not too late to get involved. Contact Chris U on email@example.com or on his mobile (0772 3088332) or via this website at www.gbrowchallenge.com/contact
And finally, the Seagals are being honoured with a celebration lunch at a fabulous Virgin facility – the Roof Gardens in Kensington – next week. Virgin’s chief adventurer, Mr Alex Tai, will present the Seagals with their Guinness world record certificates, it is hoped that Holly Branson will be at the function as she started the
race last year. Our congratulations go out to Belinda, Beverley, Laura and Angela, for their fantastic achievement in Virgin GB Row 2010.
That’s all for now folks:
Remember the Start date Weds 1st June 2011 at Tower Bridge.
Chris Usborne is on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0772 3088332
Plans for Virgin GB Row Race Preps and Start
Race Director Chris Usborne has been busy recently ensuring the final race preps at Port Solent and the start at Tower Bridge are memorable to all taking part.
The race preps base Port Solent is home to a fleet of Sunsail Yachts and a luxurious yacht haven with exceptional marine support facilities. Competing boats have been invited to stay for up to 2 weeks before the event, courtesy of Premier Marinas www.premiermarinas.com .
Facilities provided include water and electricity, excellent shower and ablutions and discount in all Marine Stores on site. There is a public slipway or a sling hoist for water entry and exit (the latter includes small cost but with 75% discount on normal lift costs).
Events planned for the week of 23-27 May include: – safety briefings for all teams, fitting race tracker devices, scrutineering, meteorological update, team building, coastguard interface, and an overnight row to Christchurch.
Port Solent is part of Portsmouth Dockyard, home of the Royal Navy and Race HQ. The Royal Navy have continued to be Friends of the Race and will support the start with HMS PUNCHER, a P2000 based at HMS PRESIDENT, acting as Starters boat, media platform, and as an escort for competing boats from Tower Bridge to the Thames Barrier.
The Tower Bridge Start – 1 June
The race will commence from Tower Bridge as the flood tide turns to ebb at approximately 14:30 on the day. A light lunch for competitors, limited numbers of friends and family and some sponsors will be available. The venue can then be used as an exclusive viewing platform as the race starts.
Get your entries into Chris Usborne now – contact Chris on email@example.com or on his mobile 0772 3088332. There’s less than 4 months left to the race, entries are still open – are you up for it?
HM Coastguard – a valuable Team Member
HM Coastguard will again oversee the safety of the race, and provide very useful station-to-station links around the UK. Coastguard staff offer expert local knowledge on weather changes, hazards, and valuable marine advice. In 2010 they were able to contact a foreign fisherman moments before it ran into the Seagals in poor weather conditions, and advised them they were straying into a live firing range. They also gave advice about the busiest shipping lanes in the world near Dover, etc etc.
Latest teams news
Mathieu Bonnier was very keen to complete the first solo attempt, but has been forced to withdraw due to other comittments.
David Hosking is recruiting final crew members after his epic voyage across the Atlantic in HALLINE MARINE.
After much planning there is good probability we will get a new ladies boat racing in an attempt to beat the World Record set by the Seagals in 2010.
There is also a military boat to challenge the current entry ( was ORCA, now renamed Commando Joe), and even a celebs boat which will be taking part in a factual documentary.
This epic row has been completed by only 3 boats EVER, (2 fours and a pair) – just ten oarspeople have been able to say – ‘I did that’!
Join that exclusive group, break a World Record, grasp the opportunity and achieve the challenge of a lifetime – memories that will last forever.
It would be great to have you onboard.
First Teams Sign Up for GB Row
Press release: immediate
Issued on behalf of Virgin GB Row 2011
TWO crews have already signed up for Virgin GB Row – a 2,000-mile non-stop unassisted race around the coast of Britain – for a prize fund of £55,000 ($85,000) and a place in the record books.
Organisers are hoping that more than a dozen boats will take part in the gruelling challenge, which begins at Tower Bridge in London on Wednesday, June 1.
The Guinness World Record for the non-stop circumnavigation of the British mainland currently stands at 26days 21hours and 14mins. A bonus of £30,000 ($45,000) will be awarded to the crew that can beat that record.
With more than four months to go, two boats have already registered to take part in the event, sponsored by Sir Richard Branson, who describes GB Row as ‘probably the toughest rowing race in the world’.
During the race around Britain crews will battle against treacherous tides, horrendous winds and navigate some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.
Woodvale’s six-man Atlantic boat, Oyster Shack, and John Mollison’s four-man Trimaran, Orca, are already booked to compete.
Falklands veteran Mollison took part in the first-ever Virgin GB Row race, held last year, where his four-man team competed against an all-female crew, skippered by Belinda Kirk.
Mollison and his crew on board Orca were forced to quit when they lost their anchor near Wolf Rock, nine miles from Lands End, and took assistance from a lifeboat on exercise in the area, which breached the race rules.
The women in their mono-hull, Go Commando, went on to complete the race in 51 days, setting a new world record as the first female crew to row non-stop around the British mainland.
But Scotsman John loved taking part in the race so much that he has put together a new crew – including two Atlantic rowers – to take part in Virgin GB Row 2011.
He said: “It is a terrific event – adventure at its rawest. We’re taking part to complete the event. A world record would be a bonus. The weather and currents will dictate if a record attempt is possible.”
Orca’s crew will be skippered by Major Mark Waterson, with Mollison as owner and technical expert, plus Major Pete Rowlands and either Major Dave Hartley or Pete’s brother Dave Rowlands taking the fourth rowing spot.
Mark Waterson and Pete Rowlands were in a record-breaking team of four that rowed the Atlantic from west to east in 2006.
Woodvale Challenge Ocean, organisers of Atlantic and Indian Ocean Rowing events, have registered their lightweight Kevlar and carbon fibre boat for the Virgin GB Row.
The six-man crew has not been named yet but Simon Chalk is likely to be skipper.
Kate Battes, event director at Woodvale said: “We want to win the Virgin GB Row and set a new world record. We have six skilled rowers in mind for the task and we will be announcing their names soon.”
Crews taking part in Virgin GB Row could be racing for the Virgin Trophy, donated by Sir Richard Branson, and a £15,000 first prize.
A £30,000 ($47,000) bounty is waiting for any crew that can beat the current world record of 26 days 21 hours and 14 minutes, set in 2005 by a crew of four men, led by William de Laszlo.
Sir Richard Branson said: “This is one of the most extreme and exciting challenges I have ever come across, rowing around the UK non-stop and un-aided any way and in a competitive race. Definitely the hardest rowing race in the world. How exciting!”
Chris Usborne, race director of Virgin GB Row 2011 said: “This a greater test of endurance and skill than trans-ocean rowing. The race rules allow no contact with the shore or support vessels. Everything you need has to be planned out in advance. Every challenge has to be dealt with using the materials and skills your team brought on board at the start.”
lIt is not too late to register interest in taking part in Virgin GB Row. Log on to www.gbrowchallenge.com or contact Race Organiser Chris Usborne at ChrisU@gbrowchallenge.com or phone +44 772 3088332
Note to Editors
Pictures and interviews are available via Virgin GB Row Media Manager Mike Ridley on +44 7836 376 943 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Press release: immediate:
Issued on behalf of Virgin GB Row 2011