Putney and Balham rowers break world record during charity English Channel crossing
A group of rowers have broken a world record for the fastest crossing of the English Channel despite it being their first time on the water.
James Nichols and William Bakewell, of Putney, and Alex Jamieson, of Balham, formed part of the eight member crew rowing for children's charity Sparks.
The Rock and Row team managed to cross the Channel in a traditional Cornish gig in three hours, 44 minutes, smashing the previous record by 19 minutes on Friday.
The team took on the challenge in a bid to raise £10,000 for Sparks, but beat that target too, collecting more than £14,000.
None of the crew had rowed before, with the team practising intensely in the build-up to the 35km row.
The money will go towards helping fund medical research for babies, children and expectant mothers.
Mr Nichols said: “None of us has rowed before, so we have been training in the gym and down near Portsmouth to learn the proper technique and to build up the stamina.
“Alex’s sister is a paediatric doctor who has worked with Sparks, and we hope that our efforts will allow them to fund more doctors like her who are working to find treatments and cures for conditions affecting babies, children and mums to be.”
Helen Farquharson, regional fundraiser for Sparks, said: “I am delighted that the team has chosen to support Sparks by taking on this incredible challenge. Their fundraising is off to a fantastic start and will help us in our mission to help more babies be born healthy.”
To make a donation visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/rowingthechannel or sparks.org.uk/donate.