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Ocean Rowing for Disabled Rowers

  • Published: 2008-01-01 (Revised/Updated 2008-12-11) : Author: Rebecca
  • Synopsis: The Paralympics Committee have just announced they are including Rowing as one of the new events in the Paralympics 2008.

Woodvale Events are the proud organizers of cross ocean rowing races including the Atlantic Rowing Race 2005. It is fantastic to hear that the Paralympics Committee have decided to introduce rowing into their events, and we support this decision 200%. We already have a number of disabled rowers entered into our races.

Disabled Rowing Going Strong.

The Paralympics Committee have just announced they are including Rowing as one of the new events in the Paralympics 2008. However, disabled rowers competing in international rowing events is not something solely for the Paralympics. Two disabled rowers are entered into this years Atlantic Rowing Race 2005, organized by Woodvale
Events, with a further three disabled entrants in the Ocean's Fours Rowing Race 2006. Franck Bruno and Dominique Benassi, both from France, are entered into the Atlantic Rowing Race 2005, which will see them row from La Gomera in the Canaries across the Atlantic Ocean to Antigua, starting in November this year.

Both Franck and Dominique are amputees, but are hoping to achieve their ambition of reaching 1st place, despite their disabilities. They will be competing against at least 35 other teams in the race, and will be living aboard a 24ft Woodvale Pairs boat for the duration of the row, which the organizers, Woodvale Events, expect will be an average of 55 days. During this time Franck and Dominique will have to be self sufficient, living off ration pack style food and water produced using a water-maker and the endless supply of sea water around them. The race will see them face ever changing weather conditions, and they will have to carefully navigate around large ships and boats, and the occasional whale and shark!

The Oceans Four Race 2006 is another ocean rowing race organized by Woodvale Events, which will see teams of four rowing between New
York State and Falmouth Cornwall. Again, a team of disabled rowers have decided to overcome their disabilities, and row unaided across the North Atlantic. This route looks set to be a challenging one, with competitors battling poor weather conditions, including high winds, freezing temperatures, and lots of rain! Along with this, they will have to be continuously on the look out for other ships and boats, as well as living off dry food supplies and limited amounts of water.

However, one member of this team is no stranger to Ocean Rowing, Jo Le He has already completed the Atlantic Rowing Race 19997 from the Canaries to the Caribbean, where he and his team mate, a convicted murderer, came second overall. Joe also attempted to become the first person to row solo across the Pacific. He had to abandon this record attempt due to gangrene, which eventually resulted in Jo having all his toes amputated.

Jo has already recruited Franck Festor, a fellow amputee, to row the Oceans Four's Race 2006 race with him, along with Ann Madsen, an American Rowing champion, and paraplegic. He is now on the look out for a fourth member for the team to join them in the 3,100 nm race, which they expect to complete in about 60 days.

All competitors entered into this race will be competing in identical 29 ft Woodvale Four's boats, which levels the playing field to ensure that the winning team will prevail solely through skill, courage and determination.

Woodvale Events welcomes entries into their race from all sorts of people, from all sorts of backgrounds, and from a wide range of ages. No experience is necessary to enter the race the only requirements are entrants must be between 18 and 60 years of age at the start line. It also helps if people entered into the race are highly motivated, and don't mind hard work!

For more information about Woodvale Events and their races, or the rowers entered into the race, please contact Rebecca at Woodvale

Woodvale Events Ltd
PO Box 350, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 1WT

Tel: 01364 644432

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