China Fleet Country Club, Saltash, Cornwall, hosted a special unveiling and blessing of a new boat ahead of an Atlantic crossing later this year for charity.
The special launch event for fundraisers HMS OARDACIOUS, held at China Fleet on 14 July, included the Minister of Veteran affairs the Rt Hon Johnny Mercer, military, veterans, families, civil servants, industry partners, sponsors and volunteers.
The HMS OARDACIOUS rowing team will be rowing the Atlantic in the new boat ‘Captain Jim’ to raise funds and awareness of mental health and wellbeing. The name of the boat “Captain Jim” is in memory of the late Capt. Jim Simpson RN whose family members attended the unveiling event.
“The China Fleet Trust and Club are proud to be one of HMS OARDACIOUS latest official sponsors,” said Club Managing Director Dean Bennett. “In 2020, the rowing team became the fastest military team in history to row across the Atlantic Ocean raising over £150,000 for Mental Health and Wellbeing support for Royal Navy personnel and their families.
“Thank you to the Rt Hon Johnny Mercer MP for joining us and saying a few words reflecting on the sacrifice made by the families of service personnel.”
Also in attendance was the 3-time Olympic rowing gold medallist and Honorary Royal Navy Captain, Pete Reed OBE, who gave an inspirational talk on resilience and adventure to the assembled guests, which will live long in the memory.
HMS OARDACIOUS was established in 2019 to provide Mental Health and Wellbeing support to the Submarine community.
Later this year, the rowing team will take on the World’s toughest row, and the premier event in Ocean Rowing – a challenge that takes competitors more than 3000 miles west from San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands, to Nelsons Dockyard in Antigua.
The Annual Race begins in early December with up to 30 teams participating from across the globe. The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge brings together teams from all walks of life united by the same objective: to take on the unique challenge of crossing an ocean in a rowing boat.
Earlier this summer the Prince of Wales joined the team of Royal Navy submariners for Mental Health Week.
“We are so pleased to be sponsoring HMS OARDACIOUS this year,” added Dean. We cannot wait to follow their staggering Atlantic Challenge in December and we are thoroughly inspired by the team’s determination and dedication. We wish them all every success.”
For more information or to donate, please see https://www.hmsoardacious.com/