Row from Islay for Hospice

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The Foyle Rowing Club will, weather permitting, row from Islay in Scotland to Greencastle tomorrow in order to raise funs for the Foyle Hospice.

The mission, entitled ‘Colmcille Challenge’ has already raised over E3,500 before the crews set out on the 44 mile trip. The rowers will rely on the advice of local fishermen in order to navigate the huge swells and tidal currents on the trek.

The Foyle Rowing Club formed five years ago. The 22 members all contributed to the costs of purchasing the E9,000 boat and oars. “We are also thankful to MalinWaters and the Inishowen Development Parntership who also contributed to the costs,” said Mr. Kelly.

A total of two crews a male and a female crew will man the two boats with squads of five rowers at a time rowing in relay.

“If we complete the row in anything under ten hours it will be a very good time, anything longer than 15 hours and we’ll be disappointed.”

Mr. Kelly also confirmed that more then ten crews wanted to participate but health and safety concerns meant they were forced to limit how many participated.

The messages of support have flooded into the group ahead of their endeavours.

“We train and row outside the homes of Brian Friel and John Hume and both sent us messages of support. Brian would wave out and he sent us some words of encouragement.” The club members are currently traning four evenings a week and every Sunday.

Denise Kelly of the Club said: “We just hope the weather allows us to go for it on Saturday.”

The club have secured the free services of the Loughs Agency, the Derry and Inishowen sub-aqua clubs and the luxury Foyle cruiser.

The rowers are to arrive in Greencastle at 5pm on Saturday amid two days of planned celebrations. In order to contact the club telephone 074 9382058 or www.colmcillechallenge.com