Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Oarsome effort by HMS Bristol

9 July 2018
While 18½ million people in the land were cheering on England against Belgium, sailors on HMS Bristol were encouraging shipmates.

Crew of the training and accommodation ship berthed in Portsmouth Harbour set out to row 339 kilometres – 211 miles – inside 24 hours to raise money for naval veterans.

To succeed, the sailors had to row 14 kilometres every hour, averaging 500 metres every two minutes 7.4 seconds.

WO Tim ‘Apple’ Cox was the first on the machine, cheered on by Lt Cdrs David Price and John Haynes, Bristol’s CO and XO respectively.

I am so very proud of every single person who contributed for us to achieve this amazing goal.

CPO Daz Hoare

To help the Bristolians to their goal, they were joined by members of the RN indoor rowing team, MOD guards and BRNC cadets… while they lived on a (not especially healthy) diet of jelly babies, bananas and water.

With 57 minutes to spare, the distance was achieved – fittingly it was organiser/Bristol’s PT CPO Daz Hoare who was in the hotseat at the time.

“Conditions during the row were very hot but the rowers showed immense powers of recovery and worked exceptionally well as a team, always encouraging each other for their stints on the rowing machine,” said Daz.

“I knew this was going to be a challenge that would really push us to the limit. We kept each other going through the rough periods – I am so very proud of every single person who contributed for us to achieve this amazing goal.”

The benefactors of their efforts will be the Royal Naval Benevolent Trust which provides more than £2m a year to needy families of serving and veteran sailors and Royal Marines. It also runs care homes/facilities in Hornchurch, Essex, and Pembroke House in Gillingham, Kent.

The closest open water to Pembroke House is the former naval dockyard at Chatham which is 339 kilometres from Portsmouth Harbour, hence the distance of the row.

That’s one goal reached… but not the £500 target the team set themselves, so if you want to dip into your pocket to show your support, click

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.