Clevedon Coastal Rowing Club chase down Best over Atlantic

Scott Ferrier and Gemma Best

Clevedon Coastal Rowing Club chairman Scott Ferrier and Gemma Best. - Credit: Heather House

Members of Clevedon Coastal Rowing Club have been chasing one of their crew members across the Atlantic.

Gemma Best is part of Force Genesis who are taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in their four person boat - Jasmine Ann.

Best’s crew mates are Will Cogley, Mark Sealey and Amy Wood. The Challenge is to row from La Gomera to Antigua, a distance of 3000 miles in a field of 20 other boats.

The club have undertaken to at least match Best’s rowing distance on primarily rowing machines.

Force Genesis

Gemma Best is part of Force Genesis, which have so far covered 1,504Nm out of 3,000 miles. - Credit: Scott Ferrier/Heather House

Currently, the crews in the Atlantic are spread over circa 1500 nautical miles with Force Genesis over half way and chasing the leaders.

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Force Genesis are attempting to raise funds for Devon Blood Bikes and Clevedon Coastal are raising towards the procurement of their first boat.

Clevedon Coastal are endeavouring to make up £3,000 to match the distance raced across the Atlantic.

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At present time, the first four weeks have seen Force Genesis cover over 1504 nautical miles and Clevedon Coastal have currently rowed 2,069,250m.

All taking part started rowing on December 12 and have continued to row all through the festive period, including Christmas and into the New Year, with an expected finish mid-February.

Crews in the Atlantic so far have been challenged by extreme waves, strong head and side winds, with one boat even suffering a puncture from a Marlin spike which narrowly missed a crew member and resulted in the boat taking on some water.

However, everything was repaired and the boat and crew have continued to make good headway.

Club chairman Scott Ferrier said: “A lot of the club are jealous of the opportunity that Gemma has to row the Atlantic and at the same time we are in awe of the size of the undertaking both physically and mentally.

“We are all following the progress of each and every boat regularly throughout each day. I am also impressed with how much effort those left behind are putting in on the rowing machines in support of Force Genesis and for raising much needed funds.

“With all of the training and exercise the club will have undertaken through the winter months, we are looking forward to an exciting and competitive start to the rowing season when current restrictions start to ease.

“The first boats have arrived in Antigua and Force Genesis are doing amazing despite having suffered some electrical problems which have slowed them down. We are all really proud of how they are doing.”

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