03/08/2018 - 10:45





3 August 2018

Oarsome Chance, the youth development charity, has unveiled a unique 10km (5.3 nautical mile) fundraising row around the world-famous Portsmouth Harbour. The Portsmouth Pull 2018 will take place on Friday 28 September 2018 and raise funds for the charity’s work with disadvantaged young people.

This row-of-a-lifetime is open to up to six teams, who will compete in a lap of the historic naval harbour. The race starts and finishes at Oarsome Chance’s HQ at St Vincent College on the Gosport Peninsula and takes in Portsmouth’s most iconic landmarks including the Spinnaker Tower, Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory, Portchester Castle and Gosport’s Millennium Bridge.

The Portsmouth Pull is open to anyone aged 16 or over, and no rowing experience is needed to take part. Teams, which can comprise four or five people, just need to be ready to row hard and raise sponsorship a for a great cause.

Oarsome Chance will provide all participants with rowing tips and advice at a special training day before the event. The charity will also provide handy hints on how to maximise the money raised to make a tangible difference to the lives of young people.

The winning team will receive a handmade wooden trophy and there will also be a prize for the team raising the most in sponsorship. All participants will receive a bespoke Portsmouth Pull t-shirt and certificate, and celebrate their achievements at a special prize-giving ceremony and barbeque.

The 23-ft wooden skiffs set to go head to head in Portsmouth Harbour are crewed by four rowers and a reserve plus a cox supplied by Oarsome Chance, and four three-metre long oars will propel each of the boats. Two of the skiffs – Little Warrior and Little Victory – were built in the Oarsome Chance workshop by young people on the organisation’s programmes.

There is a registration fee of £50 per person, which covers the event costs, so that all the sponsorship monies raised go directly to support the work of the charity. Teams are asked to raise a minimum of £750 in sponsorship to fund the vital work of Oarsome Chance.

“We’re very excited to launch the Portsmouth Pull series. This is a unique opportunity to row around Portsmouth’s iconic naval harbour and we’re expecting some fierce competition from teams competing from around the country. But this is not just a fantastic team challenge, it will also raise money to support our vital work with disadvantaged young people,’ John Gillard, Oarsome Chance Principal, said.

An inaugural pilot race was run in June this year in which Little Victory took first place, setting the time to beat at 1 hour and 27 minutes. Following overwhelmingly positive feedback from all involved, Oarsome Chance has decided to hold a series of events each year to offer this unique experience and raise important funds to support the charity’s work.

Oarsome Chance was established in 2015 to bring about change for disadvantaged young people using the powerful mediums of sport (coastal and dry rowing) and vocational training (boat building, carpentry and canvas skills).

It focuses on young people aged from 9 through to the early 20s who are disengaged from mainstream education and at risk of exclusion. Oarsome Chance has been appointed by local authority behavioural services teams and school alternative provision commissions to work with these young people, who come from some of England’s most deprived areas.

To find out more and to register for one of the limited team slots, please contact [email protected] or visit



Media contact:

Anna Wardley, Seagrass Communications

Email: [email protected]         Mobile: 07793 417754

About Oarsome Chance Foundation:

Oarsome Chance Foundation is a groundbreaking charity that aims to bring about change for disadvantaged young people in the Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant areas by using the powerful incentive of sport (coastal and dry rowing) in combination with vocational training (boat building, carpentry and canvas skills). Focusing on young people aged from 9 -19 years old who are disengaged from mainstream education and are at risk of exclusion and suffering disadvantage, in its first 18 months Oarsome Chance has already engaged with over 1,500 participants through its rowing and workshop programmes.

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