The Leeds United Channel Row Team have been joined by the latest team members, Leeds United Managing Director David Haigh and coxswain, Francesca MacDuff-Varley to row the Channel (from Dunkirk to Ramsgate) on the June 8 2014, in a 46 mile challenge which will take around 6 hours.
The aim will be to raise £20k to support the Myfanwy Townsend Melanoma Research Fund, in memory of former Leeds United fitness coach, Bruce Craven who died in 2005 from melanoma.
To kick off their tough training schedule and provide a taste of things to come (some have never rowed before) the team hit the water at the weekend to find out exactly what they’ve let themselves in for! Mike Gilbert, who coached the session, prepared celebrities John Bishop, Davina McCall, Denise Lewis and Freddie Flintoff for their attempt to cross the Channel earlier this year for Sport Relief.
Says Mike, “We will be using ‘Deborah’, the same boat as used by the Sport Relief team, with all its battle scars, and I will be proffering the same advice, which is that this is not a challenge that should be undertaken lightly.
“All crew will be risking their lives and will need to prepare fully; they will need to review their diets and lifestyle, commit to a strict training routine and remain focused throughout”.
Fearless Francesca will have her hands full as coxswain of the boat, keeping the momentum up and the direction of the boat in check. She commented: “After today, I’m sure that I won’t have any problems keeping 7 fit men on the straight and narrow; but I am praying that I find my sea legs quickly!”
Francesca will be in charge of the crew, made up of: