Gabrielle Hadley is not a woman to do things by half. In 2012 she climbed Kilimanjaro in aid of the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice, raising £19,341 – the height of the mountain in feet. “Never again!” she said when she returned and, sure enough, two and half years later on, she’s off on another extreme challenge which puts Kilimanjaro in the shade.
The thought of rowing from London to Paris is improbably in most people’s minds, but the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice came up with this challenge in conjunction with Langstone Rowing. The route takes the rowers from Tower Bridge in London, via Ramsgate for a brief stop and then round the coast to Eastbourne. No rest there because at this point the boat turns due south and heads directly to Le Havre – a 36 hour crossing of the English Channel. There’s another brief rest here before the final two days of rowing take the team up the river Seine to Paris and their final destination of the Eiffel Tower.
Two teams of twelve are taking part, made up from a mixture of celebrities and local businesses. The teams row in groups of six, with another member acting as cox. Rowers pull the oars for two hours and then have two hours rest, 24 hours a day, for six days continuously. The sleep deprivation will be massive during the period of the challenge, reflecting the experience of parents of children who use the facilities of the hospice.
Full details of the challenge can be found on the Tower to Tower website and Gabrielle’s fundraising page – she’s aiming for £10,000 – can be found on Virgin Giving. Please donate what you can to help her reach her target and to help the whole team reach in excess of £90,000 in aid of the hospice’s valuable work in our region.