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 the challenge consists of 12 people who take it in turns to row, spending the time in between on a support boat.
The Celtic Challenge 2012 took place over the bank holiday weekend 5th – 6th May , it was touch and go whether the race would go ahead due to rough sea conditions. It was agreed to start the race 4pm on Saturday, when the waves dropped enough to exit the harbour. It was a very sketchy start, with 23 crews in the water, the first 16 hours were gruelling to say the least. Many teams dropped out due to extreme conditions, sea sickness and equipment failures. By morning only 11 teams remained in the race, exhausted crews finally able to enjoy the row as conditions improved. At 3.24pm on Sunday, with our huge team of supporters cheering us in we crossed the finished line in at a very respectable seventh place in a time of 23hours 24 minutes.
Massive thank you to Skipper Mark and First mate Bob of Wandrin Star, Fishguard and Stuart Forsyth and Kevin Dobson our rib support crew, you were all amazing and kept us all safe. A big thank you to Jeff English for transporting the boat and supporting us throughout the event. A huge thank you to Wendy Davies Cushley who kept us fed and watered for 24hrs without a minutes break! Also a massive thank you to Charlie Millar who dedicated a huge amount of time and effort to organise our challenge. Special Thank you to all our family and friends who have supported us throughout the event, without you it wouldn’t have been possible.
Special thanks to our main sponsors: Carrentals.co.uk and to all our other major sponsors Lewtress, Old Post Office Aberporth, Granant Precast Concrete, Aberporth Community Council and Deli Delights for donating all our drinking water.
Start of the race! From the left in Yellow boat Dolwen: Andy Cushley, Andy Mayer, Carl Rich, Charlie Millar & Cox Hayley Morris.
Here are some of our Celtic Challenge pictures