Former Welham Green man to row from Australia to Mauritius for charity

A MAN is hoping to raise �25,000 for charity by taking part in the world s most challenging rowing event. Simon Prior is aiming to row more than 3,500 miles from Australia to Mauritius in aid of the Old Hatfield-based

A MAN is hoping to raise �25,000 for charity by taking part in the world's most challenging rowing event.

Simon Prior is aiming to row more than 3,500 miles from Australia to Mauritius in aid of the Old Hatfield-based Willow Foundation, which provides special days for seriously ill 16-40 year olds.

The 28-year-old will be one of just four solo rowers attempting the challenge, when he embarks on the epic journey from Geraldton, Western Australia, on April 19.

Simon told the WHT he hopes to complete the voyage in 75 days, but added he has not ruled out challenging for the world record, which currently stands at 67 days.


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He said: "This race is marketed as the world's toughest rowing race, so it will be a great achievement to just finish, but deep down I know I want to win.

"I know there are going to be some tough days in the middle of that ocean, but I am a strong believer that life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.

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"Whatever happens out there it will be one amazing experience."

Simon, a business analyst who has just moved from Welham Green to St Albans, said he chose to support the Willow Foundation after his best friend's mother died of cancer.

The charity, which provides special days for seriously ill 16-40 year olds, was founded by former Arsenal and Scotland goalkeeper Bob Wilson and his wife Megs.

Bob said: "This has got to be the toughest challenge that anyone has ever chosen to take on for the Willow Foundation and we're honoured that Simon has chosen us.

"We wish Simon all the best for the thousands of miles he'll be rowing for us, and for so many seriously ill young adults."

The foundation, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, was set up by the Wilsons in memory of their daughter Anna, who died of cancer aged 31.

For more information about Simon's trip including details of how to sponsor him, visit www.amantomauritius.co.uk or www.willowfoundation.org.uk

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