Rowing team abandon row around Norfolk after lifeboat rescue

PUBLISHED: 08:41 20 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:12 20 April 2019

The Norfolk Broards - Sandra Squire, Helen Hogan and Kate Palmer - are continuing their journey by road Picture: Courtesy of the Norfolk Broards

The Norfolk Broards - Sandra Squire, Helen Hogan and Kate Palmer - are continuing their journey by road Picture: Courtesy of the Norfolk Broards

Courtesy of the Norfolk Broards

A trio of oarswomen have abandoned their attempt to row around Norfolk.

The Norfolk BrOARds set off from King's Lynn on the first leg off their journey to Gorleston on Friday morning.

Sandra Squire, Helen Hogan and Kate Palmer planned to visit lifeboat stations along the way during their four-day voyage, delivering Easter eggs to crews.

They hoped to raise funds to compete in an Atlantic rowing challenge next year.

But they were held back by strong winds, as they left the River Ouse and tried to row up The Wash to Old Hunstanton.

And the lifeboat was launched to help them ashore after they were delayed by around two hours.

RNLI spokesman Geoff Needham said the women were “struggling and exhausted” because of the sea conditions. He said while they were not in any danger, the lifeboat crew decided to go out and help them.

The lifeboat towed the BrOARds back ashore to Old Hunstanton, where they had originally intended to land.

Mrs Squire said: “We had battled an easterly wind for eight hours and were within sniffing distance, but it was the right decision.

“With regret we have decided to continue by road. There is an easterly wind forecast for the rest of the weekend as well. I can only just cope with asking for assistance once, but twice would be too much, I'm just not willing to risk it.”

Mrs Squire said the team were “sore, gutted and emotional” but added they had burned off a few calories battling the sea.

In December 2020, the team hopes to take part in the Talisker Atlantic Challenge - a 3,000-mile ocean row from La Gomera to Antigua.

The women will endure sleep deprivation, salt sores and blisters in a rowing boat seven metres long and under two metres wide.

For their journey from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean they must carry enough food onboard for 90 days. The current race record for a ladies trio team is 60 days, 18 hours and 34 minutes.

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