The Row2Recovery team, supported by the Endeavour Fund, set off last December on an extraordinary journey of endurance in the world’s toughest row, the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge to raise money and awareness for wounded, injured and sick Service Personnel and Veterans.
AIG proudly supported this heroic undertaking as the first Lead Corporate Partner of the Endeavour Fund, and to celebrate their remarkable achievement hosted Row2Recoveries homecoming reception. Guests at the reception including HRH Prince Harry, the Chief of Defence Staff and the First Sea Lord, heard from the inspirational crew about their experience and the impact sport has had on their recovery and rehabilitation post injury.
The team of four British military amputees: Skipper and Light Dragoon Lance Corporal Cayle Royce, MBE, former Irish Guardsman Paddy Gallagher, former RAF Flight Sergeant Parachute Jump Instructor Nigel Rogoff and Royal Marine Colour Sergeant Lee Spencer, rowed 3,000 miles unaided across the Atlantic ocean over 46 days, 6 hours and 49 minutes.
The remarkable crew started their voyage from La Gomera in the Canary Islands and rowed their way into the record books this year as the first ever all-amputee team to row an ocean, triumphing in 8th position over many able bodied teams. When they docked into Nelsons’ Dockyard English Harbour, Antigua, they were welcomed by loved ones, emotional crowds, steel bands, and a Military Parade conducted by serving Personnel from the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force. Military Personnel fired a feu de joie in honor of the injured military rowers.
The team had to deal with incredibly tough conditions during the race. They typically rowed two hours on, two hours off, 24 hours a day, burning around 8,000 calories daily, and losing roughly 20 percent of their body weight. Alongside physical exertion, the rowers battled sleep deprivation, painful salt sores, and blisters, and were locked in their cabin for days at a time due to a huge storm.
The Row2Recovery team said upon their arrival, "We are so proud to be the first all-amputee team to row an ocean and are extremely humbled by the support we have received. We are very proud to be able to support injured servicemen and women through the Endeavour Fund, Help for Heroes, and BLESMA. Although totally exhausted, we are ready to celebrate the fact we have just conquered 3,000 miles in the world's toughest ocean rowing race. There is life beyond injury - that's our message, we hope it's out there!"
Congratulations to the extraordinary heroes of Row2Recovery!