Shipping firm helps Atlantic rowers

AN ESSEX shipping company is helping three rowers fulfil a long-held ambition, and raise thousands of pounds for charity, by taking part in the world's toughest ocean rowing race - by transporting their boats to the start point in the Canary Islands.

AN ESSEX shipping company is helping three rowers fulfil a long-held ambition, and raise thousands of pounds for charity, by taking part in the world's toughest ocean rowing race - by transporting their boats to the start point in the Canary Islands.

Wallis Shipping, which is based in Colchester and specialises in global freight and logistics, was asked by Burham-on-Crouch adventurer Charlie Pitcher and Norfolk sailors James Croome and Oliver Back to transport two rowing boats worth �53,000 across the North Atlantic Ocean to La Gomera in the Canary Islands, in time for the 2009 Woodvale Atlantic Rowing Race.

The boats, which have been built and stationed at Burnham-on-Crouch, have highly sophisticated equipment on board and were purpose built between 2005 and 2009 for crossing the Atlantic. Wallis Shipping will manage the transportation of the boats from Felixstowe, from where they will take seven days by container ship to reach the Canary Islands.

James explained: “The race starts on December 6 and is renowned as the most gruelling there is. Oliver and I will be rowing in one boat and Charlie will be going solo in the other. We will be covering almost 3,000 miles spending two months on the water until we reach the English Harbour in Antigua.

“This is the first time we have ever taken part in a rowing race but we couldn't resist the challenge and have spent the last two and a half years raising enough sponsorship to make our dream come true.

“It is vital that our boat arrives safely which is why we chose Wallis Shipping as they were highly recommended.”

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He added: “We are hoping to raise over �30,000 for The Multiple Sclerosis Society, East Anglia's Children's Hospices and Addenbrooke's Hospital by completing the race. We have received sponsorship and are also self-funding the initiative, but we are still around �10,000 short. We are appealing to any local businesses interested in supporting us to come forward and help us achieve our goal.”

Stuart Gregory, managing director of Wallis Shipping, said: “We are honoured to have been chosen by James, Charlie and Oliver to transport their precious cargo to the Canaries.

“To raise such a large amount for both local and national charities is no mean feat, and we are pleased to be involved in such an amazing journey. We will be taking great care of the boats to ensure that they are there to start the race in good time and wish all three of them the best of luck on their epic voyage.”

n For further information and for sponsorship opportunities visit www.atlanticrow2009.com .