In December 2013, a team of four Servicemen began their epic voyage of over 3,000 nautical miles across the world’s second largest ocean, the Atlantic. Once they left the safety of the harbour they were on their own, on the vast ocean and at the mercy of the elements in their tiny boat called Endeavour.
“Don’t dis my ability to do anything! I’m about to take on the Atlantic Ocean.…”SCOTT BLANEY, ‘ENDEAVOUR’ CREW MEMBER
Skipper, James Kayall of the Light Dragoon Guards had previously rowed the Indian Ocean and so understood the mental and physical battle that lay ahead for his crew. Scott Blaney of the Grenadier Guards lost his leg in the first Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast in Afghanistan in 2007 and was the first Guardsman to complete a full Queen’s Guard ceremonial duty with an amputation. Cayle Royce lost both legs and all the fingers on one hand in a blast in 2012 and is keen to live up to Row2Recovery’s motto – ‘Beyond Injury, Achieving the Extraordinary.’ Mark is an army physiotherapist who spent two years at Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Headley Court helping wounded, injured and sick men and women with horrific wounds on their road to recovery and rehabilitation. He joined the crew of Endeavour in a desire to translate his experiences into a demonstration of his own courage during this epic row.
For nearly months, these men took two hour watches with two hours rest around the clock in all weathers with only the smallest of living quarters for comfort. Mental fatigue and physical exhaustion, salt-sores and chaffing from repetitive, back-breaking movement, little comfort and no luxuries were all amply dished out to this small crew during this incredible adventure.
After 48 and a half days crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the Row2Recovery hit dry land in Antigua on 21 January 2014. Showing huge spirit, this inspirational team came third overall, and second in class in what must be one of the world’s most grueling races.
In terms of legacy, Row2Recovery will be launching a domestic rowing programme in the UK. They are creating a network of clubs linked with the principle recovery centres providing adaptive rowing facilities around the country for wounded, injured and sick to enter into the sport of rowing and further linked via the historic Marlow Rowing Club with the Elite Talent Development Pathway (ETDP) which takes promising individuals from early steps into the GB Paralympic team.
The crew of Endeavour are raising money for Help for Heroes in recognition of the great work that charity performs.