Three heroic teams of oarsmen from Thomas Miller P&I in London as well as sister team at Thomas Miller Asia-Pacific all successfully completed their legs of the Big Row charity event last night.
In total some eighty teams from the international maritime community took part in a 'virtual' row of the length of Lake Malawi to raise funds for the ongoing refurbishment of the MV Chauncy Maples as a medical clinic ship.
The main event, pictured here, took place in Spitalfields Market in the City of London on the evening of the 11th September. However, the Club's Hong Kong office took advantage of the time difference to get an early start in a three way battle with law firm Holman, Fenwick and Willan and the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club who hosted that event.
The Chauncy Maples Malawi Trust, the charity behind The Big Row expects to raise over £500,000 towards the development of its mobile clinic on Lake Malawi
The event saw 76 rowing crews competing against each other in the largest event of its kind hosted at London’s Spitalfields market.
The crews, each rowing 10,000 metres, illustrated the wide range of people from the City of London who pulled together for this significant event: 17 crews came from law firms and chambers, 15 from insurance brokers and underwriters and 16 marine and mutual insurance managers took part, in addition to teams rowing in the Isle of Man, Hong Kong and Greece. The fastest time was posted by the Royal Navy team who completed the 10km row in 32 minutes and 17 seconds.
Over 1,000 people attended the event which was hosted by celebrity presenters Angela Rippon and Katie Derham. Musical entertainment was provided by glamorous string quartet Bond, and Japanese Kodo drummers were on hand to inspire and motivate the rowers.
The MV Chauncy Maples ship is Africa’s oldest floating ship and is being renovated into a state-of-the-art mobile health clinic which will sail to the remotest fishing villages surrounding Lake Malawi where malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS are prevalent and medical provision is scant.
Hugo Wynn-Williams, chairman of principal sponsor Thomas Miller Group, who also took part in the row said: “While I’m certain that there will be many people who – like me – are sore from last night’s exertions, I’ve a much deeper feeling of gratitude and satisfaction to have been a part of such a worthwhile and successful event. The Chauncy Maples project is a superb initiative which has the potential to make a significant positive impact on a wide number of lives. I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks and congratulations to everyone involved in the event.”