Solicitor James Trafford, 59, and his two sons Hugo, 22 and Joe, 18, have completed their epic 3,000-mile row across the Atlantic Ocean after 41 days at sea, smashing the former world record crossing for a trio by eight days.
Together, the father and sons team have raised over £180,000 for St Christopher’s Hospice, which provides education nationally and internationally, as well as care and support for families in South East London.
They rowed from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua in their boat called ‘St Christopher’s’.
James said: “It’s just amazing to be finished. When we knew that we had just 1,000 miles left to row and that the world record was in sight, that was a really special moment, and we had a bit of a celebration.
“We got on, genuinely, really well together on the row. There were so many highs and lows, but when we were told that good weather was coming and then the forecast turned-out to be wrong and we were heading back into bad weather, psychologically, that was really hard.
We’re feeling a bit wobbly being back on land, but it’s really great to see everyone, especially our family, and we’re proud of the money we’ve managed to raise for the hospice”.
James is a long-term supporter of the hospice and lives with his family in Salisbury, Wiltshire.
The rowing trio cast off from La Gomera on 12 December 2018, and rowed two hour shifts, night and day, through Christmas and into the New Year.
They survived on freeze dried food, battled strong winds, rowed with dolphins and survived close encounters with cargo ships in the middle of the night.
The money raised by the Trafford family will support the new Learning Hub that St Christopher’s Hospice is building in Sydenham.
The Learning Hub will provide specialised training for people working in end of life care locally, nationally and internationally, as well as supporting families and carers in Lewisham and across South East London by offering coaching, advice and training in simple care-giving skill.
Sean O’Leary, Joint Chief Executive at St Christopher’s comments, “We cannot thank James, Hugo and Jo enough for their enormous effort, which has raised such a tremendous amount of money for the hospice.
St Christopher’s helps people live their lives to the full, even at the end of life, and the Trafford family contribution will help mean we can share our experience further through our education programmes.”
The Trafford family rowed as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge 2018.
There’s still time to sponsor James, Hugo and Joe.