FORMER Lyme Regis lifeboatman Ian Kentfield has completed a charity row across the Atlantic at the age of 59.
Ian has so far raised more than £10,000 for the Ellen MacArthur Sailing Trust (EMCT), which takes young people aged between 8-24 years old on sailing trips to help rebuild their confidence after cancer treatment.
Leaving the Canary Islands on March 22, the row took Ian and his 11 team mates 42 days, two hours and 30 minutes to complete, landing in Antigua in the Caribbean on May 3.
Now back at home in quarantine, Ian has reflected on this huge physical and mental challenge, telling LymeOnline “nothing can prepare you for it”.
“It was an extreme physical challenge but I had done the training and was prepared for that, but it was more mentally challenging that I had expected,” he said.
“The first five days were the hardest; the weather was not good and you are adjusting from normal life. After about five to seven days you start to get used to it and adapt.”
Ian and his team mates rowed three hours on, three hours off throughout the voyage, which he said was particularly strenuous s the wind was not in their favour.
Commenting before the row on his reasons for choosing EMCT as his charity, he said: “Over the last five years my family and I have personally experienced the trauma and heartache cancer causes when it comes visiting.
“One of the lessons I have taken from that experience, is that life is for living, you do not know what is around the corner, so don’t delay in reaching for your goals.
“Combined with this I firmly believe that sailing can deliver a huge positive boost to a person’s wellbeing and self-belief.
“I’m a lifelong sailor and I had the privilege of crewing one of their trips last year. During it I saw first-hand the massive positive impact a trip with EMCT had on children and youngsters who are facing the ordeal of being a cancer patient.”
Ian and his team mates self-funded the voyage, which they completed in a new boat design from Rannoch Adventures, named Roxy.
He has now raised just over £10,000 and you can still sponsor him online at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ian-kentfield