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Rowing for conservation

Farmer and businessman Henry Cheape spotlights sustainability as he becomes the fastest Scot to row the Atlantic solo
Henry Cheape

Farmer and businessman Henry Cheape has conquered the Atlantic to become the fastest Scottish solo rower, reaching Antigua and officially completing the World’s Toughest Row – all in the name of sustainability.

49 days 12 hours and 11 minutes (seven weeks) after leaving La Gomera in the Canary Islands on December 13 2023, Henry – who had not previously rowed before signing up to this monumental challenge in March 2023 – was cheered to shore by family and friends for the grand finale of what can only be described as ‘the adventure of a lifetime’

‘This has been by far the hardest thing I have done in my life. There were some good times, dark times and amazing times. But it’s the simple things which kept me going throughout my time at sea. Clean bedsheets to mark the halfway point; and shaving every day, no matter what was just one of the ‘everyday habits’ I felt helped me push forward when the waves looked overwhelming and the winds blew the wrong way.
‘The meals we were able to prepare using many ingredients so generously donated by local suppliers which made them not only nutritious but interesting – and for this, I am truly grateful. From the food we grow on our farms to education that empowers people to lead sustainable lives, I believe sustainability is at the heart of a better future.’

Farmer, businessman and record-breaking rower


Raising funds for charities

Henry is one of the entrepreneurs behind the renowned farm shop Balgove Larder. He tested his own self-endurance to spotlight the importance of sustainable practices while attempting to raise £250,000 in funds for conservation and environment charities.
Henry concluded his incredible oceanic feat after a gruelling 3,000 miles aboard the PollyAnne, the R25 rowing boat that triumphed in its class for the 2022 Atlantic race, and with remote support from record-breaking ocean rower and weather router Angus Collins.

‘What a crossing! Henry seemed to experience every kind of weather condition out there. He’s surfed down waves with 30knots of wind behind him, battled headwinds, got beaten up by crosswinds, and rowed in with no weather on his side at all.
‘This has been one of the hardest years to cross the Atlantic in the history of the sport, and Henry has approached the whole crossing with professionalism and open-mindedness.
‘Soon we will find out how much weight he lost on the Atlantic, but what we do know is that he used up every bit of energy whilst out there.’

Record-breaking ocean rower and weather router

When Henry reached the shore he was told he had already raised over £100,000 for his chosen charities.
He said the incredible of support from friends, family and many people he had never met kept him going during the hardest times. ‘Thank you so much to all who have taken the time to send their thoughts and to all who have donated and will continue doing so over the next few weeks’, he said. ‘Now… I am so looking forward to hugging my wife and children!’

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