Sunday, 19 May 2024
Sunday, 19 May 2024

Epic Atlantic rowing challenge raises more than £150,000 for charity

A turkey farmer from the Midlands has helped raise more than £150,000 for charity after rowing 3,200 miles across the Atlantic Ocean.

Rod Adlington and his Brightsides crew completed the epic trans-Atlantic crossing in aid of the Get A-Head Charitable Trust, which supports people with head and neck disease, and Meningitis Now, the UK’s leading meningitis charity which provides awareness, research and vital support to people affected by the devastating disease.

Rod, who runs Adlington Turkey Farms at Balsall Common, in between Coventry and Solihull, along with crewmate Guy Minshull, an arable farmer from Kenilworth, met with charity representatives and sponsors at a celebratory event at Stockton House in Stockton, Southam, on Wednesday, April 17.

During the event the two farmers spoke about the highlights and multiple challenges that they faced during the crossing from The Canary Islands to the Caribbean as well as the relief and elation they felt once arriving back on dry land.

Rod said:

“Just before we set off, the crew and I came up with four simple rules to follow and they were: To never be late for a rowing shift, to give it everything, to have fun and to come home as friends and I can say, we achieved all four.

“With the right approach anything is possible and we cannot thank our families, friends, sponsors and everyone else for the support they have shown, it’s just been incredible.”

The Brightsides crew completed the unassisted row in 52 days and 18 hours to become the first mixed crew and fastest team to complete the C-Map Atlantic Dash regatta – one of the world’s toughest endurance challenges.

The trip followed months of planning, training and dedication from Rod, Guy and the rest of the crew which included serving paratrooper Alex Perry and Lancashire vet Anna Williams.

In addition to being the first mixed team to complete the challenge, Anna also became the first female to have successfully finished the regatta.

Rod decided to embark on the mammoth rowing challenge in memory of his son Barney, who died from meningitis in 2005 when he was just three years old.

During the event, Rod and Guy spoke about the magnificent wildlife and incredible sunsets that they encountered during their days at sea.

They also recalled battling against gale-force winds, the challenges of rowing without any winds at all and having to row backwards to get back on course.

They also spoke about their blistered hands, sore bottoms, sleep deprivation, unappealing food rations and toilet etiquette!

More than 30 guests gathered for the celebratory event including representatives from key sponsors of the Brightsides – Bromwich Hardy, Lodders, The Wigley Group and EHBProperty.

Organisers of the C-Map Atlantic Dash were also in attendance along with family and friends.

Congratulating the Brightsides on their incredible achievement Get A-Head Chair and managing partner of Bromwich Hardy, Tom Bromwich said:

“It’s been an absolute privilege to support Rod and the rest of the Brightsides crew on this incredible journey and we can’t thank them enough for everything that they have done and achieved.”

John Watkinson, co-founder of Get A-Head, added:

“We would like to thank the Brightsides for raising an incredible amount of money for our charity. These funds will go directly towards supporting research into the causes and treatment for head and neck disease as well as life-saving equipment.”

Tom Nutt, chief executive of Meningitis Now, said:

“What the Brightsides have done to support Get A-Head and Meningitis Now is nothing short of incredible and we are very thankful. A major part of this fundraising challenge was in memory of Rod’s son Barney who would have been twenty-one this year. We know Barney helped to keep Rod going and remembering Barney reminds us all of the devastating impact meningitis can have on people’s lives.”

Donations to the Brightsides can be made via www.givewheel.com/fundraising/1524/the-brightsides/or using text message: TEXT ROW1 to 70191 to DONATE £10 – TEXT ROW3 to 70191 to DONATE £30.

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