January 30, 2016

Getting ready for The Celtic Challenge 2016


imageimageDuring the last weekend in April, Team Margot will be embarking on the Celtic Challenge, a race across the Irish Sea from Arklow to Aberystwyth, in a rowing boat.

A Celtic Longboat boat is only set up for 4 rowers plus a cox, however each boat (Team Margot has entered two boats) has a team of 12 people, which enables us to do hourly change overs, during what is likely to be a 24 hour race. The basic idea is that each person rows for an hour and then has two hours off – a routine that’s likely to be repeated about 8 times in a 24 hour period.

Training started in Spring last year, although it has now intensified as we approach the event. Last September we entered two boats in the Great River Race – a 21 mile race along the Thames – as a ‘warm up’ and to see how we would fare. Everyone who took part loved the experience – the whole rowing & training regime has brought friends, old and new together and has given us a lasting and meaningful sense of community, which is really wonderful.

Team Margot does the 80's

Team Margot does the 80’s

Vicki went as a Virgin air hostess (me as Richard Branson)

Vicki went as a Virgin air hostess (me as Richard Branson)

Last night saw the rowers & our partners come together for a social – an 80’s themed fancy dress party (thank you Mel, Emma & Bronwyn for organising !)

I’m hugely touched by the whole affair. It’s fantastic to have everyone involved and doing this for Team Margot – this is quite a serious event with a big commitment – and importantly, it will help raise awareness and also money for Team Margot Foundation.

Thank you Tom for creating the video below and to all the other rowers too for being a part of such a special event.

We’re so grateful for all your support.

Team Margot
Together, saving lives


Our Celtic Longboat, Lord Beefington on display at last night's party

Our Celtic Longboat, Lord Beefington on display at last night’s party


The Celtic Challenge 2016 Team Margot Rowers:

Calum Barclay
Martin Beaumont (Lord Beefington & team leader)
Melinda Beier
Matt Burgess
Bronwyn Crockett
Philippa Esson
Jonathan Foster Kenny
Mark Garcia-Oliver
Ben Hampshire
Brent Harris
Claire Howard-Vyse
James Howard-Vyse
Rob James
Sharon Lamb
Yaser Martini
Emma McPhie
Michelle Ridgewell
Nick Ridgewell
Andi Rosandi
Ian Ross
Stephanie Von Werthern
Tom Singlehurst
Mike Smith
Andy Webb

Support Crew:
Jeff Hathaway (Margot’s Grandad)
Luisa Hector
Matt Tonge
Caro Wrighton



The Celtic Challenge is the World’s Longest true rowing race where teams race from Arklow in County Wicklow, Ireland to Aberystwyth on the Welsh coast, a distance of about 90 nautical miles. Celtic and Pembrokeshire longboats take part (and occasionally other similar boats also join in) – each boat is about 24 feet (8m) long and has 4 fixed seats and one cox.

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 is generally used to transfer people between the support boat and the rowing boat. How often teams swap rowers and how people are utilised is all part of the tactics of the race.

The race is an extreme test of endurance and generally takes between 15 and 24 hours, depending on the weather. The race usually starts in the afternoon with all teams rowing throughout the night and sometimes arriving in Aberystwyth very early in the morning ! The race happens every 2 years and this year takes place over the last weekend of April.


Husband to Vicki and father to Oscar (2007), Rufus (2008), Digby (2015), Humphrey (2017) & Margot (2012-2014)

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