On 28th September, we hosted our second 10km fundraising row, The Portsmouth Pull, around the world-famous Portsmouth Harbour, which saw 20 rowers fiercely battle it out for the Portsmouth Pull trophy. The Portsmouth Pull is one of a range of fundraising events Oarsome Chance organise - 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 and HMS Warrior, as well as Portchester Castle and Gosport’s Millennium Bridge.

To see the pictures from the event, taken by Jason Brodie Browne, follw this link: https://oarsomechance.org/gallery/portsmouth-pull-28-sept-2018

The winning team from Gosport’s Hardway Sailing Club smashed their own course record, set in a pilot event in June, by 22 minutes completing the 10km lap in just 1 hour, 5 minutes and 55 seconds. In a special prize-giving ceremony, the five members of Team Hardway received a handmade wooden trophy, presented by the legendary Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Chairman of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and the first person to sail solo and non-stop around the world in 1968-69.

Sir Robin had been out on the water in the Clipper Race RIB to cheer on Team Clipper, who came in a close second to Team Hardway. Also competing was Team GCA Sailing, the ground-breaking sailing club from Greig City Academy in London set up to allow inner-city students access to the sport of sailing, Team Seahorse from Gosport’s own Seahorse Bar and Restaurant and the home team from Oarsome Chance. In taking part in the challenge event, each team has raised sponsorship to fund the vital work of Oarsome Chance.

“It was a brilliant day’s racing today with some fierce competition between the teams. We were particularly honoured to have Sir Robin Knox-Johnston award the trophy to the winners. The Portsmouth Pull is proving to be incredibly popular and we already have enquiries about the next race in Spring 2019 which is fantastic, as these events help to raise money to support our vital work with disadvantaged young people,” John Gillard, Oarsome Chance Principal, said.

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

This was the second Portsmouth Pull after a successful pilot event in June and following overwhelmingly positive feedback from all involved, Oarsome Chance has decided to hold a series of events each year to offer this unique experience - keep an eye on our Events page for your next chance to take part!