Once again Xcell Oars & Sculls are congratulating Charlie Pitcher for yet another outstanding record-breaking ocean row using Xcell X3 Ocean Rowing Oars.
Ending in March 2013 and battling huge waves and exhaustion, Charlie broke the long-standing record for single–handed rowing the Atlantic, some 2,700 miles from the Canaries to Barbados, in 35 days and 38 minutes so beating the record by an incredible 5 days, 9 hours and 30 minutes.
In discussions with Charlie and his new company Rannoch Adventures, Xcell developed 100% carbon fibre large sweep Macon blades fitted into Xcell’s X3 standard ocean rowing shafts constructed of 100% carbon fibre, with Kevlar-overwrap at the high-tensile pressure points.
Charlie has achieved such an outstandingly impressive performance using these new blades that Xcell are proposing to offer them to all future ocean rowing contestants .
Row 2 Recovery is the amazing story of four severely wounded and two able-bodied ex-servicemen, all of whom had recently served in Afghanistan or Iraq, who captured the imagination of the British public by rowing across the Atlantic against all the odds earlier this year.
Its a tough and dangerous journey to undertake. But the funds raised so far are already at £1,000,000.00 with alot more expected from “The Row to Recovery” Book which launched in November 2012, now available to order here for £14.99.
Author Sam Peters has gained unprecedented accrss to each crew member to deliver a book which will challenge perceptions of life in the British Army and what it means to be wounded. Peters was in contact with the crew by satelitte phone on every day of their epic 51 day crossing. He has subsequently spent more than 50 hour interviewing the war veterans, not just about their incredible 3,000 mile journey across the Atlantic, but also about their own very personal and sometimes harrowing journeys from the battlefield to Barbados.
The Atlantic crossing, which generated global media coverage, was beset with physical, mental and technical difficulties which saw the crew forced onto emergency rations for 17 days when their water purifier broke. One crew member – above knee amputee Rory Mackenzie – spent Christmas Day heavily sedated and extracting pieves of shrapnel from his buttock as the exertion of the gruelling routine took its toll.
Their eventual arrival in Barbados generated worldwide media interest. They even received a satellite phone call from Prince Harry, broadcast live to a huge global audience, while in the middle of the Atlantic. The Row to Recovery is an inspirational story of a remarkable group of men who have overcome enormous adversity and personal trauma and in the process redefined attitudes to disability.
Lieutenant Charlie Martell recorded a tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee. A copy was sent to Buckingham Palace last week. The full recording is available for everyone to see here:
Summary: Day 29
- 22.6 miles travelled
- 22.5 miles made good
- 586.5 miles total distance made good
- And since yesterday, thanks to The Daffodil, funds raised for charity have now topped £12,000
So, it was an early start this morning, woken by the petrels (whom I suspect may have been kipping on deck!). As I came out of my cabin, I noticed the morning to be still… not a noise in the air. The ocean calm, not flat calm, but almost. I heard a splash and just a few hundred metres away from the stern of Blossom I saw a couple of dolphins leaping out of the water silently, only to splash back down… they did this several times before making their way away from me. A great start to the day.
Porridge (again!) for brekkers, then I was on the oars for 0500. I’m fairly happy with the progress made today, it’s not been really tough, but certainly not easy either. As I came towards the end of rowing, the dolphins made another appearance, but didn’t hang around for more than a few minutes… not more than ten minutes later, I spotted a flying fish, just the one and it looked like a giant dragonfly as it seemed to effortlessly cruise through the air, before submerging again!
Today not only marks the 1st day of June, but also the end of week 4 for Blossom and I. As we start week 5 tomorrow, I will be thinking of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Have a great weekend!
Ways you can help…
- Forward the Jubilee message to as many people as you can, this weekend
- Email Charlie and Blossom (he receives all e-mails but, in the words of the best celebrities, can’t guarantee to reply to them all individually. You’ll most likely see a reply on the blog, or a mention in the video diary).
- Sponsor Charlie (for those in the UK, there’s a link to Justgiving here. For those in the US and overseas, our Firstgiving page provides a means for you to donate).</li>
In December 2011, two able-bodied and four injured British servicememembers will take on the high seas in a rowing boat. They will cross the Atlantic from the coast of Africa to Barbados, a journey of about 3,000 miles.
Of the 452 rowing boat crews to ever attempt this Atlantic crossing, only 284 have succeeded. They took 40 to 120 days.
The team will row self-supported, and have to alternate between long hours of on deck rowing, and brief two hour off-watch rest spells in the cabin. The tropical climactic conditions can be unpredictable and the crew must be ready for anything from torrential rain to gale force winds and blistering, windless sunshine, as well as cold nights.
Routine is critical in tackling one of the greatest challenges: psychological exhaustion. Finding the dogged determination to continue under extreme physical pain, sleep deprivation and severe weight loss can be difficult.
These are the kind of conditions facing British servicemen and women every day in intense combat zones in Afghanistan and Iraq.British servicemen and women will endure six, twelve, or even eighteen months of these constant challenges. The Row2Recovery team will endure eight weeks.
We will be exhibiting at 2010 South Coast Championships at Wimbleball on Saturday 11th September.
We are also sponsoring the Novices’ Rating – do come and find us and we look forward to seeing you there! “We’re delighted that Xcell Oars & Sculls are sponsoring the Novice Racing programme at Wimbleball this year as well as exhibiting at the Championships. Appropriately, they are a British company established 7 years ago and are growing rapidly with their sister company, the renowned J Sutton Traditional Oar & Scull makers. Xcell are demonstrating their commitment to coastal rowing at Wimbleball and have just launched their X 7 Coastal. Demo samples will be on display at the Championships. Xcell designs their own looms and spoons, owns all their own tooling and uses only reputable British suppliers for major components, including buttons and collars. We wish Xcell every success and look forward to a long and positive relationship with them through our Clubs, our three Associations and the annual Championships”. Andrea Worley, Vice Chairman of Wimbleball Rowing Club.
The Artemis Ocean Rowing Team, who used Xcell X3 Ocean Oars for a North Atlantic Expedition and broke the 114 year old record:
“We used Xcell blades on our North Atlantic Expedition and they were first rate. We were hammered by the weather and the oars came under some extreme loads and not one was broken. The performance of the blades is outstanding and the collars allow easy feathering when required. I have rowed on four ocean rowing expeditions now and rowed over 12,000 sea miles in all conditions and I won’t leave port without my Xcell X3s they are an extremely well thought out and well engineered product – second to none.” Leven Brown, Artemis Ocean Rowing Team.
Belinda Kirk and the Sea Gals were the first all-women crew to row unaided around the coast of Britain in just 51 days and made their way into the Guinness Book of Records, winning the £15,000 put up by Richard Branson:
“Despite near miss collisions, strong winds and rough seas we rowed around Britain with watches of two pairs. Our Xcell X3s performed outstandingly, and were customised for our physical size. At times it was pretty tough going, yet we always seemed to be making headway and getting closer to the finish at Tower Bridge.”Belinda Kirk, Skipper and Expedition Manager of the Sea Gals.
Charlie Pitcher made history to become the first solo competitor to win a multi class ocean rowing race, at the same time smashing the solo record on 26th February 2010
“I was using Xcell X3s from their specialist Ocean Rowing range, which were matched to my physique and rowing style. The oars are extremely well designed and gave me that little extra edge throughout. Although I carried a spare set of oars, just in case, they were surplus and I cannot thank the team at Xcell enough for all their support and help in the build up to the Atlantic Race. As a single-handed rower, it was quite daunting and I was absolutely delighted to get line honours, ahead of the crewed teams. Thanks Xcell.” Charlie Pitcher, winner Atlantic Rowing Race 2009/10.