Axminster boat goes full circle

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THE Island Voyager with its crew, who are hoping to break the world record for fastest non-stop, unassisted row around the British Isles

AN Axminster-built boat is to play a leading role in a world record attempt later this year.

Lyme Regis rower Nigel LeGassick will be among a team of four to take on a non-stop row around the British Isles this September.

Members of Team Island Voyagers hope to break the world record for fastest non-stop, unassisted row around the British Isles in aid of The Honeypot Children’s Charity. They will do so in a boat also named “Island Voyagers”.

The boat is no stranger to long-distance rows. It was built by Justin Adkin, of Axminster-based Sea Sabre, in 2005 and named “All Relative”.

Once built, Justin rowed “All Relative” with a crew of four across the Mid Atlantic route. In 2007, it was renamed “Go Commando” by RM Orlando Rodgers, who also rowed it across the Atlantic, and in 2011 it was again renamed, called “Seagals”, and rowed around Great Britain participating in GB Row 2011.

The boat then took part in the 2011 Mid Atlantic race, but was abandoned by the crew halfway across. It was discovered off the Dominican Republic by a fisherman, who claimed salvage rights, before it was bought by Simon Chalk and shipped back to the UK, The Island Voyagers team purchased the boat as a shell in 2015.

The vessel has now gone full circle and has just been given a refit by its original builder, Justin. The current record for an unassisted, non-stop team row around the British Isles stands at 26 days and nine hours, and the Island Voyagers team are setting off on the 2,100-mile route from the Calshot Activity Centre, near Southampton, at 12noon on July 8th with the hope of beating it.

The challenge was the idea of skipper Jeremy Webb, 46, from Southampton, who was also part of a six-man team to row the North Atlantic in 39 days in 2014, setting a record for the most distance covered in 24 hours.

Having already spent about £40,000 to get to this stage, team members are looking for businesses to sponsor the boat.

There is also the chance to join the team’s 100 Club by donating £100. All sponsorship will be split between the cost of the challenge and the team’s chosen charity, The Honeypot Children’s Charity, which offers both respite breaks and outreach support to young carers and vulnerable children, many of whom would otherwise have nowhere to turn.

For more information on the Island Voyagers challenge, team or sponsorship opportunities, visit www.islandvoyages.co.uk or to donate online visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/islandvoyagers.

You can also follow progress of the team on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/islandvoyagers or on Twitter @islandvoyagers

Chief Reporter | Started his working life on a farm before becoming a screen printer, both in Sweden. Had another career change and turned to journalism in the mid1990s. Enjoyed an internship with Alexandria Gazette Packet, Va, USA, before moving to the UK. Got a job with The Clarion in Yeovil in 1998, but moved to Axminster in 2006 and has worked on the East Devon beat since.

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