Camberley hotel pair to row Thames for good causes
By mattcollison | Wednesday, January 30, 2013, 14:41
TWO Camberley hotel managers are planning to row the length of the River Thames partly in honour of a serviceman killed in Afghanistan.
Luke Jones and Chris Scott will row a skiff from Cirencester to Southend via London.
Luke Jones, general manager at the Ely Hotel, in London Road, and colleague Chris Scott, assistant manager, will spend three and a half days rowing their little red skiff from Gloucestershire to Essex.
The pair are fundraising for two charities – local appeal Adams Hoofing Hut and Macmillan Cancer Support.
Luke said: "Adams Hoofing Hut is an appeal very close to our hearts. Adam was a former colleague who left the hotel to join the Marines and was sadly killed in action in Afghanistan aged just 25 in 2010. His family are fundraising for Adam's dream beach hut, a memorial to him, which will offer Marines and their families a well-deserved place to get away."
"I lost my Nan to cancer two years ago, so I also wanted to support Macmillan, a really great charity."
Luke and Chris aim to row the 215 miles in just 90 hours in their skiff, named The Death of Us.
The pair aim to set off from Cirencester on April 30 and hope to reach Southend by May 3 after navigating a route through London's busy river traffic.
Last year Luke cycled 456 miles in just four days in another charity endeavour, from Edinburgh to Camberley, raising £4,700 for Adam's appeal.
Luke said: "The cycle ride was tough and when I'd finished it, I vowed never do anything like that again.
"However, I soon got the itch to do something else and despite the fact neither of us have rowed a boat before, we came up with this. We're big lads and it's going to be a very cosy three days in that tiny boat, but I'm looking forward to the challenge."
The pair have been training both in the gym and down on the river at Henley, and are aiming to raise £10,000, £5,000 for each charity.
Peter Hebblethwaite, business unit director for Old English Inns said: "We're incredibly proud of Luke and Chris for this, and their other fundraising efforts, for two really well deserving causes. They've certainly made life difficult for themselves picking a skiff boat to use rather than a traditional rowing boat. I wish them a boat load of luck."
The Ely Hotel is planning to host a celebration for the pair on their return in May, with a final fundraising party in the hotel's car park.
To sponsor Luke and Chris, please visit the Ely Hotel on London Road, where collection boxes can be found.