Channel rowing challenge an ‘oar-some’ test for Ian

One of the rowing boats crossing the Channel.

One of the rowing boats crossing the Channel. - Credit: supplied

After only a few training sessions Ian Twinley, chairman of local motor dealer John Grose, as part of two teams of eight has joined only a select number who have successfully rowed across the English Channel.

John Grose motor group chairman Ian Twinley, left, taking part in the charity Channel rowing challen

John Grose motor group chairman Ian Twinley, left, taking part in the charity Channel rowing challenge. - Credit: supplied

The team’s charity endurance test, which took place in two six-man gigs, lasted only five hours and 36 minutes, much less than they had estimated to cover the 26 miles.

Ian said: “It was a fantastic experience and a great spirit of camaraderie. No blisters, but I must say that the last 30 minutes were painful.”

The event took place the weekend of Ian’s birthday and he made it back to his home in Essex for 5.52pm which gave him eight minutes to get ready for the birthday dinner party his wife had organised. What a way to celebrate!

Ian travelled to Afghanistan in 2008 and see the fantastic work of our reservists and regular Armed Forces. He said of his visit: “It was a most humbling moment when I visited the Camp Bastion field hospital.”

Ian has been a regular supporter of the Armed Forces and involved in fund-raising for various charities including Help for Heroes. He heard about the Paralympic Warrior Games, which have taken place in America, for injured servicemen. They are seen as an important element of the rehabilitation process for many of them.

Prince Harry he hopes to bring the Warrior Games to the UK as he believes it would a great sporting spectacle. A team of 35 from the UK competed in the US games this year thanks to donations from many organisations, including Help for Heroes

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This inspired Ian to organise the sponsored row and raise funds to help kick off Prince Harry’s initiative and show him there is public support for UK Warrior Games.

Ian is also the current chairman of East Anglia Reserve Forces and Cadets Association Employer Support. In this volunteer role he is helping facilitate employer engagement and provides valuable input to the Army 2020 transformation strategy. Ian hosted a number of employers of reservists from East Anglia at this year’s Jubilee Queen’s Birthday Parade on June 15.