Adventurer is blowing up his dinghy for Solent challenge

Will Whitehead
Will Whitehead

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A KEEN young adventurer is preparing for a crossing of the Solent with a difference.

Will Whitehead, 22, will be competing in the Silly Dinghy Derby on September 15, navigating the river in an inflatable beach raft.

Setting off from South Parade Pier with a course set for the Isle of Wight, bartender Will, from Glasgow, is raising money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

He said: ‘It’s pretty inspiring that the RNLI is run almost entirely by volunteers.

‘A lot of the people involved with these fundraising events can relate to what they do. They’re risking their own lives to save other people.’

Will, who was born in Barnstaple, is anticipating that the three-mile journey from Southsea to Ryde will take around two hours. But the Silly Dinghy Derby is nothing compared to the other adventure that Will is gearing up for.

In December 2017, he is hoping to participate in the Tallisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge – also known as ‘the world’s toughest row’.

An endurance test that will push Will to his limits over two months, he intends to sail from the Canary Islands, across the Atlantic Ocean, to the island of Antigua.

Will said: ‘I’ve got lots of time to prepare for that one –hopefully we will have a better boat for it!’

As well as raising funds from friends and family, Will is offering businesses advertising space on his dinghy.

He said: ‘The current target is £500 but I think I might be a bit more ambitious and raise it to £800.’

Will is also looking for more competitors to take part in the derby next month.

He said: ‘They don’t have to be experienced rowers - they just need to have an adventurous spirit.’

For more information, email will@zimbuktu.co.uk

To donate, go to justgiving.com/sillydinghy