A DORSET team have rowed 3,000 miles across the Atlantic to raise money for charity.
Ed Ogden, Ollie Browne, James Peet and Jos Pape spent Christmas away from their loved ones to take part in the infamous Talisker Whisky Challenge and raise money for national children’s charity Starlight.
The team set off from La Gomera in the Canary Islands on December 12, and 32 days, 13 hours and 23 minutes later, reached the finish line at English Harbour in Antigua.
Nicknamed ‘The World’s Toughest Row’, Ed, Ollie, James and Jos faced sleep deprivation, storm conditions and eight metre waves during the challenge.
Their efforts saw them raise more than £200,000 for Starlight, who provide toys and games to healthcare settings, and take seriously ill children and their families on fun days out and breaks.
Ed, also a member of the Royal Motor Yacht Club in Poole, said: “The race was even tougher than we imagined, and it was incredibly competitive the whole way across. We trained hard for it, but the real challenge was mental, surviving on two hours sleep a night and trying to ignore the tiredness and ache in our limbs.
“Knowing that we were doing it all for Starlight really helped us to keep going through the bad weather and endless nights. “We had messages of support coming through with fundraising total updates and it really lifted our spirits at the toughest times throughout the race.”
The rowing team had experienced Starlight’s work first hand back in October when they volunteered with the charity and met some of the families they support.
Cathy Gilman, CEO of Starlight, said, “We are delighted that the This Way Up team chose to support Starlight for this year’s Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.
“The money that the team have raised so far will help more children to experience play in and out of hospital which helps to alleviate anxiety, isolation and uncertainty, and restore a smile to their faces.
“We can’t thank them enough for taking on this tremendous challenge and raising so much money for us.”