The Celtic Challenge is the World’s longest true rowing
race with teams of rowers from clubs in Wales and Ireland
rowing from Arklow to Aberystwyth, a good 90 miles if you
could row in a straight line across the Irish Sea! This
year we have a team of 12 rowers – women and men aged
between 22 and 63, who will take turns to row for about
24 hours to complete the challenge. It is a gruelling event
and we are training very hard in preparation. We have also
been working with volunteers from the Tenby RNLI to improve
our safety training and ensure we participate as safely
Each team doing the Celtic Challenge consists of 12 people
who take it in turns to row, spending the time in between
on a support boat. A small inflatable transfers people between
the support boat and the rowing boat. When and how often
teams swap rowers and the exact course rowed is all part
of the tactics of the race.
We had a great fundraising band night at the RAOB club in
Kilgetty with covers band P’tcheow giving us plenty
to dance and sing along to. It was a huge success and was
thoroughly enjoyed by all.
We have had some great sponsorship from local and not
so local businesses. Stuart Roberts at Force 4 Chandlery
in Cardiff very kindly donated much appreciated vital
safety equipment – a waterproof VHF radio and chargers
and a full set of mini flares. We wish him well in his
adventure later this year in kayaking out around Eddystone
Lighthouse, another huge challenge.
We have had a donation of £100 from the Power Station
which will be a help towards the boat charters. We have
also had sponsorship from Seven Spice, Begelly Arms, Ocean
Hair, Kilgetty Coop, Ocean Studio, Begelly Beads, Tetley
tea, Manor Park and many raffle prizes from local businesses.
We are very grateful for all this support – it is
all a great help to our team and our participation in
As the weather has meant we have not been able to get
out training on the sea as much as we wanted to over the
winter we arranged a of day training at Llys y Fran on
the reservoir. The wardens were very helpful and we had
a long day swapping teams in and out of the boat. It was
a great opportunity for training and for team building
in preparation for the challenge. We had a brilliant day
and the wardens helped with our crew changes and to lift
the boat back onto the trailer at the end of the day when
we were tired. This will be a great venue for hosting
the dragon boat races later in the spring.
We had a Mexican evening at The Shoreline Café
in Saundersfoot on Saturday 22nd March. It was a brilliant
evening with good food, a quiz and raffle and piñata.
A night of great fun, good company and we raised quite
a lot for the challenge too. The café have also
sponsored the team to the tune of £200 which is
a fantastic donation and greatly appreciated support.
2014 Celtic Challenge Team:
Team Captain – Libby