On Saturday 19th March 2022, Marketing Manager Tom Gater visited All Systems Row at the GB Row Challenge boathouse in Portsmouth. This was the first time that the team had met a Bexhill College representative in person, but also Fay Sole - a climate research scientist from the University of Portsmouth, and Julian (Jules) Roberts – the All Systems Row leadership coach.
Pictured above, Tom met four of the six team members taking on the GB Row Challenge 2022, (from left to right) Fiona from Shoreham Rowing Club, and Bexhill-based rowers and athletes Andrea, Jess, and Steph. With most of the crew tackling full-time jobs during the day, they are spending as much of their free time training and preparing at any given opportunity. Besides competing in this, the self-acclaimed toughest rowing race in the world, but they are simultaneously attempting a Guinness World Record for the first team of six women to circumnavigate Great Britain in a rowing boat with a goal of 35 days, in addition to collecting scientific data for Climate Research Scientist Fay Sole from the University of Portsmouth.
Onboard the All Systems Row team are two Bexhill College Alumni, Jess Plail and Lia Evans, who studied at the College between 2003-2005 and 2015-2017. In support of their journey, Bexhill College is one of the main corporate sponsors of the team, helping to fund the resources and knowledge required for their extraordinary target.
The crew of six women boast an age range spanning five decades, with members aged between 22 and 62 with varying levels of rowing experience prior to their training for this challenge. Speaking with the team, Tom reveals that they all share similar feelings of excitement, fear, and curiosity, but above all – determination. With 82 days to go at the time of writing, the realization of how big of a task this is has most certainly sunk in (pardon the pun), but this does not seem to have phased any individual at all, only making them more eager to get rowing.
Commenting on their mission and team dynamic, Tom writes: “They are an inspiring group of women that aren’t deterred by anything in their way. Pushing stereotypes out of the boat, they have an insatiable hunger for success and will ultimately accomplish anything they wish. Having spent some time with them, even only for a few hours, it’s more than evident that they have gelled extremely well as a team with the help of Jules Roberts, and their chemistry is genuinely electric, especially when deep in conversation.”
All Systems Row are also raising money for their chosen charity, Renewable World. This charity supports the provision of affordable renewable energy services to improve income, health, and education across a variety of challenging social and geographical settings. In doing so, they help mitigate the effects of climate change. You can donate and find out more about the charity here: https://www.allsystemsrow.co.uk/our-charity
If you would like to support the team in their world record attempt, setting off on 12th June 2022, you can find out all about them and donate on their website: https://www.allsystemsrow.co.uk
We wish them all the very best on their voyage and look forward to welcoming them to Bexhill College soon when they give a presentation to some of our students.
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