Arklow to Abersoch: rowing for Prostate Cancer UK

Twelve friends rowed 160km from Ireland to Wales on 25-26 July to raise £50,000 for Prostate Cancer UK


#Row4aCure arrives at Abersoch

After learning to row at Mersea Rowing Club, 12 friends successfully rowed across the Irish Sea from Arklow, Ireland, to the Welsh town of Abersoch on 25-26 July, raising over £50,000 for Prostate Cancer UK.

The Arklow to Abersoch #Row4aCure challenge was inspired by Adam Churton’s father who was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2011.

Adam Churton, 28, said: “Due to the incredible advances in research and treatments that charities like Prostate Cancer UK are helping to fund, my father is still going strong today.”

Because of weather conditions, the crew brought their row forward, leaving Arklow in the early hours of 25 July and arriving in Abersoch the following morning, about 20 hours later.

In addition to Churton, crew members consisted of Oliver Chantler, Ben Lamont, Sam Charlesworth, Tom Fearnall, Harry Cox, Sam Meekins, Harry Silcox, Al Allan, Cal Lee, James Hill and Will Whittaker.

But while crossing the Irish Sea was tough enough, the hardest challenge had been to learn to row.

Churton said, “At our first session at Mersea Island Rowing Club with Reuben Frost, it quickly came apparent we had a long way to go. But Reuben was great with us, patient, and so kind to give up his time to get us into shape.”

The changeovers were the most challenging, and the most dangerous, especially through the night

The crew learned to row a traditional fixed seat Celtic longboat for the challenge. During the journey they split the rowing into one-hour shifts, resting in the support boat in between, which involved 10 awkward changeovers on the sea.

“The changeovers were the most challenging, and the most dangerous, especially through the night,” said Churton. “However, we had been forewarned and we made sure we got some practice.

“The whole experience was incredible; rowing with the sun setting in front of us with no land in sight and the fact we were all novice rowers, but we pulled together and no one ever complained.

Before you knew it we were all bellowing out ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ by Toploader

“One moment that stands out was, when we were really tired in the middle of the night, and Sam radioed over from the support boat, saying, ‘Adam, I think you should sing us a song’.

“With a full moon in front of me, there was only ever going to be one song, and before you knew it we were all bellowing out ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ by Toploader.”

Their rowing and musical efforts paid off and at 7am the next morning, they arrived on Abersoch beach, greeted by all their friends, family and many other boats, including an RNLI lifeboat.

The #Row4aCure crew have already raised nearly £60,000 for Prostate Cancer UK which will fund technology to enable more men to be screened for prostate cancer.

Churton added: “A key message I want to get across is for people to go and get checked – it is curable if caught early.”

You can still support the #Row4aCure challenge – please visit the JustGiving page here.