FOUR young rowers from Hampshire take on an epic rowing and cycling challenge that will see them cover almost 300 miles.
Among the team taking on the Arch2Arc challenge is Edward Mortimer of Martyr Worthy.
It was inspired by Enduroman’s Arch2Arc triathlon, one of the toughest triathlons in the world with only 47 people completing the challenge.
Arch2Arc starts at Marble Arch in London and crosses the Channel to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
An avid rower, Edward, 18, adapted the challenge to rowing rather than swimming in the English Channel and pitched the idea to his colleagues on the Radley College team who were quick to get on board.
The teenagers hope to raise a total of £20,000 for two charities – the Batten Disease Family Association and the Ruth Strauss Foundation.
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On Monday July 18, the four Year 13 students – Edward, Max Hartwright, Hamish Rimmer and March Turnbull – were due to begin an 87-mile cycle from Marble Arch in London.
But due to wind and weather warnings, schoolchildren at Radley had to start with the line – rowing nearly 30 miles across the English Channel.
Edward said: “We’ve all been pretty chilled out since we finished school in June and we’ve all been pretty fit since rowing season.
“But the government and the heat warnings to stay indoors are definitely a concern. Especially since we’ll be there for hours and we’ll have blisters.”
The first day turned out to be much more difficult than expected, with the boys heading home to rest before starting to cycle.
On Tuesday July 19, rowers will cycle from London to Dover before the final 181-mile relay, cycling from Calais to Paris to finish at the Arc de Triomphe on Thursday July 21.
The students are in fine form after the Henley Royal Regatta, six days of rowing races which ended on July 3, where the team reached the final.
Edward added: “This is definitely an exciting test and challenge for two great charities. Both causes are quite close to our comrades at school.
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The money raised will be shared equally between the Batten Disease Family Association and the Ruth Strauss Foundation. Edward’s best friend’s sister is currently suffering from a terminal neurodegenerative disease, Batten’s disease.
The RFS was founded by Sir Andrew Strauss, an old boy from St Edward’s School, in memory of his wife who died of incurable lung cancer. The charity supports families coping with the death of a relative and research into lung cancer in non-smokers.
So far schoolchildren in Hampshire have raised over £10,000. To donate, go to justgiving.com/team/Arch2Arc22.
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