Rower to take on extreme, 2000-mile charity quest

editorial image

An Alnwick rower is to test his body to limits as he aims to travel more than 2,000 miles, with just three other people, in just 26 days.

Wim Stevenson will form a team of four, with his friends, to row around the UK unassisted to break a world record while raising money for charity at the same time.

Undated handout photo issued by Marie Curie of explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes during a trek of Mount Everest in 2008, as he is to take part in the Marathon des Sables in Morocco, this year in a bid to raise millions for charity and become the oldest Briton ever to complete the race. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday January 8, 2015. Sir Ranulph, who turns 71 in March, must run 156 miles(251km) across the Sahara in 50C (122F) heat to complete the six-day ultramarathon in April. See PA story CHARITY Ranulph. Photo credit should read: Marie Curie/PA Wire''NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Undated handout photo issued by Marie Curie of explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes during a trek of Mount Everest in 2008, as he is to take part in the Marathon des Sables in Morocco, this year in a bid to raise millions for charity and become the oldest Briton ever to complete the race. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday January 8, 2015. Sir Ranulph, who turns 71 in March, must run 156 miles(251km) across the Sahara in 50C (122F) heat to complete the six-day ultramarathon in April. See PA story CHARITY Ranulph. Photo credit should read: Marie Curie/PA Wire''NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

The race begins on June 1, and will involve rowing 2,010 nautical miles around the British coast.

Dubbed as the world’s toughest ocean-rowing race, more people have walked on the moon than have completed the epic voyage.

Totally unaided, the crew will tackle the most dangerous and fast-turning tides on the planet, cross the world’s busiest shipping lanes, have to avoid heavy shipping including car ferries and industrial fishing trawlers, and navigate live firing ranges at Lydd, Wembury and Aberporth.

The 28-year-old said: “We start at Tower Bridge in London, come out the Thames and turn right. The plan is to keep the boat moving 24 hours a day.

“It’s completely different to anything I’ve done before.

“I’ve rowed for nearly five years, but nothing this big, the boat is about four feet wide and weighs almost a tonne. The world record is 26 days, nine hours and we’re really shooting for this.

“I think its going to be huge test of seamanship. The guys who have set the records before have been incredible athletes.”

But it isn’t just for the glory, Wim and his friends are raising money for two charities close to their hearts.

Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, is pictured during a news conference to unveil Virgin Gaming, an online destination for competitive console gamers, in West Hollywood, Calif., Monday, June 14, 2010. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, is pictured during a news conference to unveil Virgin Gaming, an online destination for competitive console gamers, in West Hollywood, Calif., Monday, June 14, 2010. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

The primary charity is called the Natalie Kate Moss Trust, which was set up after Wim’s friend Natalie died of a brain haemorrhage in 2012.

The group are also sponsoring a more local cause, the Boulmer Volunteer Rescue Service.

The target is to raise £75,000 and in a bid to raise as much cash as possible, the team have been reaching out to corporate sponsors for the chance to have their name plastered across the boat.

Wim said: “Our fund-raising went live last week and we’ve already received 15 per cent of the target.

“The fund-raising is £30,000 with a further £45 to £70,000 from corporate sponsorship. We’ve been looking at North-East companies and we’re still on the look at for more.”

Wim currently has PS2 Print company and Playerlayer as sponsors and is looking for local companies to help with the cause.

To sponsor Wim, head to www.roughreadyrow.co.uk