Four military men, one small boat, six weeks on the Atlantic Ocean and only three legs between them. Read on to hear about how one incredible feat of dedication and courage in the name of charity has inspired the UK.
What is Row2Recovery?
Row2Recovery is a charity that uses adaptive rowing as a way to raise awareness of and support British military members who have been injured or need recovery help in some way.
Who are the Legless Rowers?
The men who make up the Row2Recovery team (AKA the “Legless Rowers”) are all military – some former, some still serving, and all like to note that they only have three legs between the four of them, having had various amputations.
The team are aged between 29 and 56 – serving Lance Corporal Cayle Royce, former Irish Guardsman Paddy Gallagher, former RAF Flight Sergeant Parachute Jump Instructor Nigel Rogoff and serving Royal Marine Colour Sergeant Lee Spencer.
Their headline-hitting feat has evoked the enthusiasm of the nation, as well as the help of a handful of sponsors, including a £10k gesture of support from Opus Energy.
— Row2Recovery (@Row2Recovery) December 20, 2015
What was their challenge?
The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is a 3,000 mile row across the Atlantic Ocean: a six week long expedition between La Gomera in the Canary Islands and Antigua in the West Indies that has been described as “the world’s toughest rowing race”.
— Row2Recovery (@Row2Recovery) December 22, 2015
It kicked off on 15 December, with the so-called “Legless Rowers” the only amputee team taking part in the entire challenge (which included 26 other teams of sea-worthy athletes).
“We want to be an example to all people; we’re just normal guys who have suffered some misfortune, but life carries on,” Lee Spencer told the BBC before they began their journey.
“We’ll literally be on our own [while rowing]. We have a life raft and personal location devices and if we end up in the water swimming is not a big deal… But the day-to-day chores are the things we’ll struggle with.”
The rowers crossed the finish line on 5 February, not only finishing 8th in the race but also breaking records for being the first amputee team to row across an ocean.
— Row2Recovery (@Row2Recovery) February 4, 2016
Why did they do it?
Firstly, to add an incredibly awe-inspiring feat to their CVs – it’s raised admiration from thousands across the country, including notable names such as Prince Harry and Boris Johnson. Many have been inspired to get behind their cause.
And it’s quite an admirable list of causes they’ve been raising money for along the way:
Blesma – ‘The Limbless Veterans’ helps serving and ex-service men and women who’ve lost the use of limbs or eyes to rebuild their lives.
Endeavour Fund – Created by The Royal Foundation to support the recovery of wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women.
Help for Heroes – Helping veterans who have been injured in the line of duty, as well as their families and dependants.
Row2Recovery – Supporting “British military adaptive rowing throughout the country”, in partnership with Help for Heroes recovery centres, British Rowing’s coaches and civilian rowing clubs across the country.
From all at Opus Energy, we’d like to congratulate and commend everyone involved in this incredible achievement for their tremendous efforts.
For anyone who’d like to find out more about Row2Recovery and lend their support, visit the official website by clicking here.