Posts Tagged ‘Bexhill Trust Challenger’


JULY 10: PROSTABLOG NZ:  IT might be the fourth boat over the finish line, but Rowing For Prostate (above) has indeed scored second place in the Indian Ocean Rowing Race.

ProstateBoysmain3That’s because the third crew home, the women’s four in Pura Vida, were blown north of Mauritius and couldn’t cross the official finish line, while the first crew in, the eights of Aud Eamus, was not an official entry in the race.

So that put second boat Bexhill Trust Challenger in first place, and the Rowing For Prostate lads (pictured below when they celebrated having 1000 miles of the 3132-mile race to row), who crossed the line fourth yesterday, in official second spot.



This will help: it’s what organisers’ spokesman Tony Humphreys said when we asked for an explanation:

There were 10 starters in the Indian Ocean Rowing Race, plus the out-of-class record attempt boat ‘Aud Eamus’.

Aud Eamus was the first boat to  arrive in Mauritius with the quickest crossing time but doesn’t qualify for  a race position as they were not an official race entry.

The next boat to arrive in Mauritius was ‘Bexhill Trust Challenger’ who were  the first race entry and having passed post-race scrutineering without  receiving any rule infringement penalties took first place.

The next boat to arrive in Mauritius was ‘Pura Vida’, who unfortunately due  to very strong southerly winds as they made their approach to Mauritius were  pushed north and were unable to cross the official race finish line.

As  such they do not qualify for a race position, however they did still manage  to cross the longitude of the finish line unaided, therefore still qualify  as the first all female team to row across the Indian Ocean unassisted.

Which the takes us to ‘Rowing For Prostate’ who were the forth boat to  arrive in Mauritius, and having successfully crossed the finish line have
provisionally been awarded second place.  Confirmation of their race ranking  will only be possible once their post-race scrutineering has been completed.

The race rules are designed with safety as the priority and contain the  penalty of dropping a race position should certain rules be infringed.

I trust this helps clarify the situation.

Thank you to the official race website for the pictures.

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JULY 1: PROSTABLOG NZ: NZ four Rowing for Prostate have done what every man with prostate problems probably wishes would happen to his prostate – disappeared.

However, no fears are held for the crew of the Indian Ocean Rowing Race entry, due to arrive in Mauritius next week in fourth place.

A statement on the race website was picked up by media overnight, making the race and its prostate entry prominent news for the past day.

The website’s theory is Prostate’s only remaining means of communication, a satellite phone, can no longer be charged, and since the (separate) satellite tracker gave up some weeks ago, there is no way for the crew to check in.

Race organisers have despatched the support boat to Prostate’s last known position.

row July1The website progress map still has them with 553 miles to go, the position they reported during last contact on Friday.

If they maintain their average of about 35 miles a day, they probably have about 400 miles to go to the finish line, which was crossed at the weekend by leading boats Aud Eamus (eight) and Bexhill Trust Challenger (four) after 70 days.

Third-placed boat, Pura Vida, had fewer than 200 miles to row when they reported in this morning.

Here’s the official website statement about the “missing” prostate rowers:

Some time ago the satellite tracking unit on boat No. 5 ‘Rowing For Prostate’ ceased to work. Since that time the team has been using their Satellite telephone to text and email their position every 12 hours to Race HQ, which was then manually entered to update the website ‘Progress Page’.

The Team had reported that their satellite telephone was not taking charge and using the phone was becoming more problematic. They were of the opinion it was only a matter of time before their satellite phone stopped working. It would now appear their prediction was right and since Friday 26th June the Team have been unable to make contact and Race HQ has been unable to contact the boat.

As frustrating and concerning as it is not to have an accurate position for the boat, there is nothing to suggest the boat has any other problem that may explain the lack of communication other than a satellite phone that is no longer working.

The comprehensive Race Rules require that each boat carries an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) together with a 406MHz PLB (Personal Locator Beacon), both of which transmit a ‘May Day’ message via satellite, and if the Team were in any kind of trouble, or danger they would active one or both of these devices.

It maybe possible the Team can contact a passing ship using their VHF radio and request their position is passed on to Race HQ. The Support Vessel is currently on its way to ‘Rowing For Prostates’ last reported position and will sail down the anticipated track of the boat in the hope of locating them by either visual identification, VHF radio or by picking the boat up on their AIS () transceiver.

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JUNE 27: PROSTABLOG NZ: Confusing news from the Indian Ocean – two boats seem to have won the 2009 rowing race, despite one crossing the finish line more than 30 hours ahead of the other.

The eights team, Aud Eamus, led over the past few days, got to Mauritius first around 4pm on June 25 GMT and was feted with a press release saying they smashed the 38-year-0ld race record by six days. They did it in 58 days, 15 hours.

But then, more than a day later at 10.40pm GMT on June 26, the fours crew, Bexhill Trust Challenger, which led most of the race, got to the finish and was acclaimed the winner.

We’re obviously missing something here, a rule perhaps lurking in the eights boat’s designation as an “open” entry, whatever that means.

row june 27

Here’s what the race website announced at 4.29pm on June 25:

A multi-national crew of eight amateur rowers (6 men and 2 women) today smashed a record that has remained unbroken for 38 years, for the fastest ever crossing of the Indian Ocean by rowing boat.

The elite crew, rowing a custom built 36ft long ocean rowing boat named ‘Aud Eamus’, set off from Geraldton, Western Australia on the 28 April 2009.  Having rowed a mammoth 3,132 nautical miles across the treacherous and unpredictable Indian Ocean, these audacious eight arrived today at Mauritius, after just 58 days, 15 hours and 08 minutes at sea, knocking an impressive six days off the previous route record.

The crew of eight comprising British nationals Simon Chalk (36), Ian Couch (39), Helen Taylor (22) and Paul Cannon (39), Americans Angela Madsen (49), Doug Tumminello (43), and Brian Flick (23), together with Bernard Fissett (46) from Belgium, were all recruited by nautical events company, Woodvale Challenge Ltd as part of the Woodvale Works Team concept.

Bringing a range of skills, adventure, ocean rowing and ultra endurance experience with them, the crew of Aud Eamus was assembled specifically with the aim of setting an Indian Ocean rowing crossing speed record.  Through their success in achieving this goal, they also claim a number of other Indian Ocean rowing records that include the first eight man crew, the first paraplegic (Angela Madsen), the first females (Angela Madsen and Helen Taylor) and the first person to row the Indian Ocean twice (Simon Chalk).

Then on June 26, a few minutes before midnight, this was announced:

After rowing a colossal 3,132 nautical miles, non-stop across the Indian Ocean, Britons Phil McCorry, (24), brother Nick McCorry (25), Matt Hellier (20) and Ian Allen (25), crew members of Boat No. 7 ‘Bexhill Trust Challenger’, made history today by winning the first ever Indian Ocean Rowing Race 2009.

Two months previously, these intrepid four life long friends from Bexhill, East Sussex set off from Geraldton, Western Australia together with nine other international crews in this unique, ultra-endurance, ocean adventure. 68 days, 19 hours and 40 minutes later, the Bexhill Trust Challenger, a 29ft long purposely designed composite ocean rowing boat, triumphantly crossed the finish line off the beautiful island of Mauritius at 2240hrs GMT today, Friday 26th June 2009.

By winning the Race, the crew of the Bexhill Trust Challenger have also become the first ever team of four to row across the Indian Ocean and crew member, Matt Hellier at the age of 20, is the youngest.

Meantime, at reporting in time about 6pm last night, third placed boat Pura Vida (the women’s four rowing for breast cancer) had 336 miles to go, while the Kiwi four Rowing For Prostate had 553

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JUNE 21: PROSTABLOG NZ:  Bexhill Trust Challenger is only about 20 miles in front as the Indian Ocean Rowing Race nears its last few days.

The eights crew, Aud Eamus, has been chasing and gaining for the past month and yesterday put in a big mileage (nearly 64) to get within 23 miles of the leaders, who had fewer than 300 of the 3132 mile race to Mauritius to go.

Meantime, Rowing For Prostate has dropped off the pace, managing 27 miles and remaining in fourth, with 859 miles to go to the finish.

The women’s four, Pura Vida, rowed more than 50 miles over the past 24 hours, but was still nearly 350 miles off the leading pair.

There are six boats left of the original field of 11, with two pairs crews struggling along some 1400 miles away from the finish line.

The race from Geraldton in Western Australia to the island of Mauritius has been running more than two months, but the leaders can be expected to cross the line by mid-week, with the eights threatening to steal the lead from Bexhill, which has been in front for most of the row.

Nothing has been posted on the race website news page since it reported a fuel top-up for the support boat from the Australian Navy on June 15.

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JUNE 1: PROSTABLOG NZ:  British rowing four Bexhill Trust Challenger has about a third of the Indian Ocean Rowing Race to go and a lead of 140 miles over its nearest rival.

Second place-holder Aud Eamus – the only boat with a crew of eight – has made its way through the field over the past month and is hunting down Bexhill, with a close finish in the offing if the leading four can keep it up.

The close battle for third continues, with just a couple of miles separating women’s four Pura Vida and Kiwi four Rowing For Prostate. They’re slightly more than 100 miles behind Aud Eamus.

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Map above shows Bexhill in the lead at the top, with Pura Vida (green) and Rowing For Prostate (red, bottom) left in the wake of Aud Eamus (second).

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When it last called in on Sunday, Bexhill had averaged 1.77 knots and rowed 22 miles in the preceding 24 hours. It had 1218 miles left to row in the 3132-mile slog to Mauritius from Western Australia, which the seven remaining boats last saw 43 days ago.

Aud Eamus is going slightly faster, averaging 1.98 knots and covering 39 miles in the day to 6pm today (June 1). It has 1358 miles to travel.

Pura Vida averaged 1.05 knots and travelled 21 miles in the day to 6pm today, leaving a distance of 1463, while Rowing For Prostate maintained the best speed (2.06 knots) and got over the biggest distance (46 miles) in the 24 hours to 6pm on Sunday. It has 1466 to go.

The other three boats are well back, and four withdrew long ago.

Row June 1 3

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ODD-US-NEWZEALAND-KEY-ARMMAY 16: PROSTABLOG NZ:  An unexpected call from Kiwi PM John Key (right) to let the Rowing For Prostate team know how proud he is of them and to invite them to meet him on their return has spurred the team on in the Indian Ocean Rowing Race. 

The Prime Minister also offered the crew some advice on their watermaker problems, reports the race website: “It seems that even the Prime Minister of New Zealand has become an avid blob watcher! ”


The team (shown in this Stuff.co.nz photograph before leaving to compete) remains in third place,

Long-time leaders Pura Vida, are now being chased down by earlier leaders Bexhill Trust Challenger, whose northerly route may be starting to pay off.

Bexhill has cut the women’s four lead from more than 100 miles to 69, the smallest it’s been for more than a week.

This despite Bexhill being hit by a freak giant wave that nearly knocked two crew members out of the boat.

While the Rowing for Prostate crew cross the Indian Ocean, Hamish Ladbroke – who had been part of the New Zealand team but was forced to pull out because his niece was suffering from cancer – has been rowing for two hours every day since the start of the race almost a month ago.

The race website says Hamish has been raising awareness of the Rowing for Prostate entry and much need funds for the charity by taking his rowing machine to the cold streets of Wanaka, near Queenstown.   He vows not to give up on his dry rowing challenge until he has reached the fund target of $10,000.

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