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Rowers prepared for Paris challenge

PUBLISHED: 10:34 25 March 2010 | UPDATED: 11:35 23 August 2010

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COPYRIGHT, 2009

A TEAM of rowers have raised the £22,000 needed to compete in a gruelling race from London to Paris in May. The Gravesend London 2 Paris (GL2P) team will take part in the six-day, 417-nautical mile challenge for Ellenor Lions Hospices and Macmillan Cance

A TEAM of rowers have raised the £22,000 needed to compete in a gruelling race from London to Paris in May.

The Gravesend London 2 Paris (GL2P) team will take part in the six-day, 417-nautical mile challenge for Ellenor Lions Hospices and Macmillan Cancer Research. Made up of 12 members of Gravesend and Medway Rowing Clubs, GL2P will test their endurance against competitors from Guildford and Thames Ditton. Team leader John Nightingale, 52, of Rochester Road, Gravesend, said: "Raising the money to enter the race has been a challenge in itself.

"But, we did it through quiz nights and discos in the town, so we've had a lot of fun along the way.

"The money covers support boats, organiser fees and permission to cross the channel, so it was vital that we raised it."

The race is due to begin at Westminster Bridge on Sunday, May 9 and the first leg will take the teams along the north Kent coast to Ramsgate.

After a short break, the teams will set off on a demanding 30-hour leg to Le Havre in northern France before the third leg along the River Seine to Rouen.

The remainder of the race is a series of pursuit contests between the locks right up to the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

He said: "It's obviously a tough course so we will have six on and six off the boat at all times. Our strategy is to do it in two-hour shifts, but that will probably change between now and May."

Mr Nightingale will be joined by Michael Russell, Mark Watkins, Grant Loten, Shaun Martin, Sam Deane, Graham Mitchlehill, Graham Semark, Robin Philpott, Jim Powell and Mike Gilbert.

If you're interested in sponsoring GL2P, or if you want to donate to their chosen charities, visit www.gravesendrowing.com or call 07740 088560.

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