Marines kick off rowing challenge

AND THEY'RE OFF From left, Ritchie Puttock, Chris Jesson, John Mooney, Dave Gibson and Scott Ashley.      Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (111262-2)
AND THEY'RE OFF From left, Ritchie Puttock, Chris Jesson, John Mooney, Dave Gibson and Scott Ashley. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (111262-2)
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AND they’re off!

With the sun blazing down on them, five Royal Marines have begun an epic fundraising attempt to row one million metres in three days.

Royal Marines Richard Puttock, Chris Jesson, John Mooney, Dave Gibson and Scott Ashley began the row with a fanfare at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth yesterday while the Royal Marines Drum Corps introduced them at 11am.

The group will be stationed at the plaza until 4pm on Sunday, taking it in turns to row for 30 minutes with two hours off to sleep, eat and have a massage from the team of masseuses from South Downs College.

Cheered on by shoppers during the day they will be watched on by clubbers as they row through the night, in a determined bid to reach their target in just 72 hours.

All the hard work is in aid of the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund which helps serving and wounded marines as well as bereaved families and veterans.

In recent years funds have dramatically depleted because of the loss of lives and the injuries sustained by marines in operations all over the world, and also the sheer number of people needing their support.

Mr Puttock, operations manager of the Royal Marines’ Association, said: ‘At this point we’re actually half an hour ahead of schedule, 7km.

‘It’s been going well but it’s going to get harder. None of us has done more than four revolutions in a day.

‘We’ll be working through the night for three nights.

‘We didn’t expect this weather so it’s a great bonus. Obviously the heat makes it harder for us but it brings the people out in their droves, hopefully donating lots of money, and a little bit of discomfort for us is a small sacrifice.

‘For the first 24 hours we’re getting by on pure adrenaline, from then on we need the motivation of seeing the money coming in to keep us going. We’d love everyone to come down and cheer us on.’

To donate go to bmycharity. com/royalsrowing or visit them at Gunwharf.