Olympic gold medallist Tim Brabants takes on rowing challenge

Sprint racing Olympic champion Dr Tim Brabants MBE is swapping his paddles for oars on the 4th July, to compete in the Jersey Post Sark to Jersey rowing race.

Brabants decided to take a break from canoeing last year, after winning a gold medal in the K1 (Kayak Single) 1000M event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He’s currently working as a doctor, in the Accident and Emergency department of a Nottingham hospital.

But he’ll be hanging up his stethoscope for a weekend and returning to his sporting roots, to compete in the Channel Islands’ most esteemed annual rowing event. 

The thirty-two year old, from Surrey, will row the 19 nautical mile race, in a men’s fours boat. Starting just outside Dixicart Bay in Sark, Brabants and his team will travel across open water to the Paternosers Reef. From there they will head along Jersey’s north coast, towards Bonne Nuit Bay, where they will have to row around the Cheval Rock, before crossing the finish line in the quickest time possible.

The current race record is 1 hour 49 minutes and 56 seconds, which was set by a Guernsey-based men’s fours crew, in 2005.

To be in with a chance of winning, Brabants’ crew will have to face some tough competition. A total 186 competitors in 54 boats will be taking part this year. The race attracts the top crews from Jersey and Guernsey as well as participants from across Europe. It’s one of the few sporting events where novices can row alongside seasoned competitors – so anything can happen!

Tim said: "I’m really looking forward to taking part in the Jersey Post Sark to Jersey race. I always enjoy new sporting challenges and I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to take part in this one! It’s given me a new sporting focus, short term, and I’m enjoying developing new skills."

Race organiser Ian Blandin said: "We’re delighted to have a sportsman of Tim’s calibre rowing in the Sark to Jersey. Tim’s crew have been training hard so it will be an exciting race and we’re expecting lots of spectators to line the cliffs this year."

This isn’t the first time that Brabants has competed in a rowing event. In October last year he teamed up with Olympic Sculler Alan Campbell to take part in the Pairs Head Race in London. The pair finished 6th in a time of 11 minutes and 58 seconds.

This is the 43rd year of the Sark to Jersey Race and, with an Olympic medallist like Brabants on board, it promises to be the most exciting race yet! 

For more information visit www.jerseyrowing.com and www.timbrabants.com

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