Warrington’s awesome foursome marathon charity row

Gael and family 

It all started last November when Gaël Tavernier and coach Brian Bailey came home from the British Indoor Rowing Championships with gold and bronze medals.  The Warrington Rowing Club rowers decided to embrace the higher level challenge of a rowing marathon.

To keep them focused through months of training and preparation they decided to make their marathon attempt a fund-raiser for the North West Lung Centre.  They recruited fellow rowers, Sian Henrys and Val Edwards, and on Thursday 31st July all four will take to rowing machines in the main entrance of Wythenshawe Hospital starting at 10.00 am – each aiming to row the marathon distance of 26.2 miles.

Brian’s preparations have been going so well that he has already broken the half-marathon record in training.  Gael and Val meanwhile have had a formidable season on the water; their double sculls partnership is undefeated as they have taken gold medals in the National Veterans’ and Henley Veterans’ championships.  Both are British Indoor Rowing Champions in their respective age classes.

Gael was a successful junior and senior rower in her native France but only returned to the sport 18 monhts ago following a break to produce five children. Val is a relative latecomer to rowing but in the last few years she has won numerous events at local and national regattas. Sian is used to endurance challenges as two years ago she led a Warrington crew to victory in a Channel-crossing race from Jersey to France.

The North West Lung Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital is the major referral centre for respiratory disease in the North West of England.  Gaël has been a member of the research staff for 12 years and the marathon is taking place at the hospital so that sponsors and supporters can go along to see the team in action on Thursday 31st and give the awesome foursome as much support as possible during the gruelling three and a half hours of the challenge. 

Brian is going to attempt to break the British Record. To find out more go to