EXPERIENCED oarsman and fundraiser Peter Evans has come up with a novel twist to his latest money-raising challenge – he’s rowing on water.
Over the past few years the Hinkley Point B Station Director has raised more than £20,000 for charity, and covered dozens of miles from the discomfort of a rowing machine.
At the height of lockdown, and on the day of his 60th birthday, Peter rowed a gruelling 26 mile marathon while wearing fancy dress, on the machine in his office. Earlier in 2020 he raised thousands with a sponsored row in the station’s reception area.
But now he’s decided to take his latest challenge on to the water and in October will be joined by a crew from Combwich Boat Club to cover 21 miles, to raise cash, again, for Prostate Cancer UK.
He said: “Rowing on a machine is a solo activity and brings with it unique challenges of keeping a target pace and never giving up when you only have yourself to challenge.
“Doing a rowing challenge on the water is going to be a really interesting twist on the challenge too, and I would like to thank the Combwich team who have reached out and made me a welcome member of the crew.”
The challenge will see Peter and his crewmates, Bev Reason, Dave Cooke, Mike Iles, Pauline Cawkwell, Gary Simons, Trevor Reason (Cox), Bill Edwards and Pete Stobart (reserve), set off from Burnham-on-Sea in a Pilot gig.
Pilot gigs date back to the 18th Century and were built to transport a pilot out to sailing ships, waiting to enter harbour, so they could be safely brought to shore.
Up the Parrett
After leaving Burnham the crew will head 13 miles up the river Parrett to Bridgwater town centre and then onto the Combwich Boat Club in a 21 mile (33km) trek that they expect will take 3½ hours in late October.
All the money raised with the row will go to Prostate Cancer UK – a charity Peter has supported many times and who he raised more than £10,000 for with his last fundraising in December 2020.
Both of Peter’s parents died in August within three weeks of each other, and he is dedicating this row to them.
He added: “They really wanted to sponsor this event and even mentioned it to me in the final weeks before they passed away.”
Trevor Reason of Combwich Boat Club said: “I coxed a crew in the 2019 London river marathon which covers 21.6 miles from Millwall to Richmond and three of the rowers in this crew took part in that race.
“Peter has been training with us for a few weeks now and is training hard on this different rowing technique. It’s very different to rowing on a static rowing machine. You have to work as a crew, and the weather and tides can make conditions tricky at times.
“It takes stamina and at times pure guts to tough it out and row for over three hours. I know Peter has the determination and the blisters will heal!”
Peter added: “I’m so grateful to the team at Combwich Boat Club for their support. We’re training really hard for this, because we know it won’t be easy, but also because we want to do this safely and quickly.
“This will likely be my final big fundraising push before retiring so I’m hopeful we can really break my previous fundraising record because this is such an important cause.
“Prostate Cancer UK does a magnificent job supporting men who need their help and in pushing for vital research into this condition. I want to do everything I can to enable the charity to continue doing that vital work.”