20/05/2019 - 15:30


20 May 2019

Oarsome Chance, the youth engagement charity, hosted their latest ‘Portsmouth Pull’ rowing challenge, a 10km fundraising row around the world-famous Portsmouth Harbour on Saturday (18th May). The Portsmouth Pull event raises funds for the charity’s educational work with local young people.

This row-of-a-lifetime was taken on by five teams, who each completed a lap of the historic naval harbour. The race started and finished at Oarsome Chance’s HQ at St Vincent College on the Gosport Peninsula and took in Portsmouth’s most iconic landmarks including the Spinnaker Tower, Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory, Portchester Castle and Gosport’s Millennium Bridge. In taking part in the challenge event, each team has raised sponsorship to fund the vital work of Oarsome Chance.

The winning team from Hardway sailing club have been training hard and their efforts were rewarded with an impressive new lap record of 1 hour 2 minutes and 19 seconds. Also competing were a team of students from St Vincent Sixth Form college, Team Seahorse from Gosport’s own Seahorse Bar and Restaurant and two home teams from Oarsome Chance, including an all-women team, who set the new all-women record at 1 hour 30 minutes and 50 seconds.

The 23-ft wooden skiffs that went head to head on Portsmouth Harbour were each crewed by four rowers and a cox and four three-metre long oars propelled each of the boats. Three of the skiffs were built in the Oarsome Chance workshop by young people on the organisation’s programmes.

“The conditions today were perfect and yet again we had a great day’s racing with some fierce competition between the teams. Hardway have worked hard to take on their record, so their win was well deserved. But all the teams did brilliantly. Which is fantastic, as these events are great fun to take part in but also help to raise money to support our vital work with disadvantaged young people,’ John Gillard, Oarsome Chance Principal, said.

This is the first Portsmouth Pull event of the year with more events planned for July, September and November this year. Oarsome Chance provide this unique experience as an innovative way to raise important funds to support the charity’s work. As Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Clipper Race Founder and Chairman, said of the Portsmouth Pull, ‘Pulling a boat is an energetic way to view Portsmouth’s lovely harbour.’

Oarsome Chance bring about change for disadvantaged young people aged from 9 through to 19 who are disengaged from mainstream education and at risk of exclusion using a combination of sport activities (coastal and dry rowing) and vocational training (boat building, carpentry and bike maintenance).

Oarsome Chance are signing up teams for the next event in July - to find out more and to register for one of the limited team slots, contact

[email protected] or visit



Media contacts:

Vikki Gillard  |  Email: [email protected]

Jane Rutterford  |  Email: [email protected]

About Oarsome Chance:

Oarsome Chance is a ground-breaking charity that aims to bring about change for young people aged from 9 -19 years old in the Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant area who are disengaged from mainstream education and are at risk of exclusion and suffering disadvantage, using the powerful incentive of sport (coastal and dry rowing) in combination with vocational training (boat building, carpentry and canvas skills).

Oarsome Chance, Maritime Workshop, St Vincent School, Mill Lane, Gosport, Hampshire,

PO12 4QA Company Number: 9829935 | Charity Number: 1167787 | UK Register of

Learning Provider’s reference number (UKPRN): 10066280