Oarsome feat for fire crews

PUBLISHED: 11:15 24 July 2007 | UPDATED: 21:45 29 May 2010

The team

The team

FIREFIGHTERS from Dunmow set off on Saturday in their attempt to be the first people to row from Bishop s Stortford to Bristol in Canadian-style canoes. The ten-man team of eight fire fighters and two friends started their 217-mile journey at the rowing c

The rowers in action at Twford Lock in Bishop’s Stortford – Pic: Michael Boyton

FIREFIGHTERS from Dunmow set off on Saturday in their attempt to be the first people to row from Bishop's Stortford to Bristol in Canadian-style canoes.

The ten-man team of eight fire fighters and two friends started their 217-mile journey at the rowing club on Pig Lane, Bishop's Stortford, with a gentle row to the official send-off point at the Outdoor Pursuits Centre in Harlow.

Firefighter Barry Bisset-Smith, team member, said: "It's going to be tough going but we're really looking forward to the trip.

"This has been 11 months in the planning and we have been training had since March. I'm confident we will make Bristol.

Eight of the team will row four canoes, while the other two will drive a mini-bus and a van carrying supplies, swapping roles as they progress along the course.

The trip is being sponsored by Traffic Bar Cafe in Dunmow High Street, the owner of which, Danny Mooney, is also a firefighter.

All proceeds will go to the Fire Service National Benevolent Fund and the Burned Children's Club.

Firefighter Smith said: "If all goes well, we should complete the trip in nine days, arriving in Bristol on Sunday July 29. By our calculations, that's 217 miles, 156 locks, 17 inland waterways and nine counties."

At night, the team are being put up at fire stations along the route. "The boats have to be in the water at seven o'clock each morning," explained firefighter Smith. "Although we'll be looking forward to a pint or two, we'll have to be strong willed and wait until we reach Bristol until we can really celebrate with a few pints."

More information is available at www.dunmowgowest.co.uk Donations can also be made via www.justgiving.com/gowest

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