£200 was donated to each of the two charities nominated by our guest speaker at our annual Rotary Foundation dinner. Niki Doeg of Yorkshire Rows identified MAGGIES and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance to be the recipients of the proceeds. Niki was one of the team of four ‘Yorkshire Rows’ which rowed across the Atlantic Ocean in December 2015 and January and February 2016.
Niki’s talk was both very interesting and inspirational. The four ladies, all mums in their forties, had never done any rowing before they decided on this adventure. They started by rowing, not very well, on the River Ouse but kept at it until they finally decided to take on the Talisker Challenge which involves rowing from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua in the Caribbean, a small distance of 3000 nautical miles.
Before they could even contemplate the challenge they had to raise £120,000 to buy all the necessary equipment, including a boat, and undertake the training required. Part of this training involved them rowing across the North Sea with the danger of having to cross two of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
So after two years of preparation they set off. Very early in the voyage, one of the team suffered badly from sea sickness and had to have special food for five days to ensure she didn’t become dehydrated. That didn’t stop her from undertaking her two hour shifts of rowing. All the four suffered badly from blisters, salt rash and sleep deprivation as well as very sore bottoms which required them to make cushions with holes cut in. All suffered at some point with mental problems ranging from being very frightened to suffering hallucinations. They kept each other going by singing, mainly the songs of ABBA and telling stories.
This year we had a new venue for the dinner at Sandmoor Golf Club. We had 56 guests who all enjoyed a three course dinner followed by coffee and chocolates. A raffle was organised by Chris Walbank and Paul Kennedy.