Guernsey rower plans Channel Row with a difference

Guernsey rower, Jo Brehaut, has decided to mark her 40th birthday with a difference – by undertaking a single-handed charity rowing challenge which will help raise funds for local charity Channel Islands Air Search.

Jo, a skilled and experienced rower originally from Guernsey and currently living in York, will also row to raise funds for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

The challenge she has decided upon is a solo row from Dartmouth, Devon to St Peter Port, Guernsey, a distance of some 73 nautical miles and around 20 hours. The attempt will take place during the neap tide periods either at the end of August or in mid September and is weather dependent. Jo will be using a self-righting coastal scull for the crossing and will be rowing within a few metres of her guard boat at all times.

Jo has rowed with Guernsey Rowing Club on several occasions and is also a keen member of York City Rowing Club. As well as marking her 40th Birthday, the challenge also coincides with the 150th Anniversary of York City Rowing Club whilst Airsearch celebrates 33 years.

Training has been under the experienced eye of Mike Gilbert of Langstone Adventure Rowing and has involved Jo driving from York to Langstone (near Portsmouth) for several weekends, as well as numerous trips up and down the 14 mile rowable stretch of the River Ouse through York.

Airsearch has to raise in the region of £95,000 annually simply to keep the aircraft, Lions’ Pride airborne. In addition, funds have to be found for maintenance and the replacement of parts.

“This challenge has been many months in the planning and I’m now physically and mentally as ready as I can be,” said Jo. “I have learned so much from this process in terms of knowledge and confidence in myself and have been overwhelmed by people’s willingness to help and the generosity of those who have already donated to these two great causes. Please visit my website,, to read more about what motivated me and to see more photos of my preparation for the event.” 

Captain Brian Nibbs of CIAS added: “We hope that Supporters of Airsearch throughout the Channel Islands will be keen to learn that Jo is planning this big personal challenge to raise funds for both Airsearch and Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Airsearch is grateful to Jo for assisting with fund-raising in this unique way.”