Success for Jersey to Southampton gig rowers

A team of clinicians successfully completed the first ever gig row from Jersey to Southampton last weekend


The Jersey to Southampton rowers celebrate

Despite the threat of bad weather, a crew of 12 doctors and nurses from Southampton braved the elements to complete a record-breaking row from Jersey to Southampton last weekend.

Led by Dr Jason Barling, Clinical Director at Southampton Children’s Hospital, the gruelling 200km row is part of a wider campaign to raise £2million for a new Southampton Children’s Hospital Major Trauma Unit which will serve patients from as far away as Jersey.

Dr Barling has written a diary of the crew’s epic journey below.

Thursday 7 June

The crew arrives in St Helier, Jersey, but with weather conditions becoming dangerous, we consider having to cancel the row. The decision is made to start rowing 12 hours earlier than scheduled, to try to ‘beat’ the weather.

Friday 8 June

It is exhilarating to be in the boat and going, although it is still possible we might have to turn back at Alderney. The crew row six at a time in shifts of two to four hours, with a support boat alongside. We make it to Alderney, although we can’t see the island through the darkness and thick fog, and unanimously agree to continue.

We push on to the English Channel and get into a rhythm averaging around 4 knots. This is essential if we are to reach the Needles, off the Isle of Wight, before the tide turns.

Spotting the Isle of Wight in the distance is incredible and it feels like we are nearly home. However, it’s a long and brutal slog against the tide around the Isle of Wight, and past the Solent, up to Southampton. The crew is now suffering with painful, blistered hands and bums, so shifts are reduced to one and a half hours at a time.

Spotting the Isle of Wight in the distance is incredible and it feels like we are nearly home
Saturday 9 June

Exhausted after 26 hours at sea we finally row into Ocean Village Marina, Southampton, at 2am to be greeted by family, friends and colleagues.

We are so grateful for all the support we have received and to our many generous donors.

Support the row

Fundraising from the Jersey to Southampton row will go towards a state-of-the-art £5.1 million facility, which will treat more than 30,000 youngsters every year.

You can still donate to the Children’s Trauma Unit here

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