Introducing GB Row 2020 Challenge…

After months of speculation, Plastic Oceans UK is very happy to announce that the GB Row 2020 Challenge is going ahead! 

Kicking off on 5 July, GB Row 2020 will see the youngest ever crew of rowers attempt to row non-stop around the mainland coast of Britain. The race has only ever seen four successful boats. It is estimated to take 35 days. However, this crew shall also be racing against the record set by William de Laszlo, founder of the GB Row Challenge, who set the target of 26 days 21 hours and 14 seconds with his three teammates back in 2005.

Exe Endurow Crew is comprised of four University students. They shall be rowing non-stop and unsupported. If that was not a challenge enough, these four students have no previous rowing experience.

Exe Endurow Team: (from left to right) Harry Lidgley, Charles Bromhead, Oliver Dawe-Lane, Arthur Chatto

Exe Endurow Team: (from left to right) Harry Lidgley, Charles Bromhead, Oliver Dawe-Lane, Arthur Chatto





The team has been in isolation together since lockdown began. They have been training together within the same house, and are doing everything to manage the risk of COVID-19. This includes ensuring that the Royal National Lifeboat Institution is aware and involved in all aspects of the race.

“The team behind GB Row 2020 are striving to deliver a sense of purpose and resilience at a time when the nation needs it most,” says the team behind the GB Row Challenge 

During the time of COVID-19, with the majority of sports suspended, GB Row and Exe Endurow Crew have been striving to create an event that puts the safety of all those involved at the centre of their operation. The team wants to ensure that the fight against plastic pollution is not forgotten and give themselves a sense of massive achievement in a time when many feel hopeless. The team are personally be raising money and awareness for the British Red Cross, who have been pivotal in helping those affected by COVID-19, and for Just One Ocean, a charity that works to get people engaged in citizen science and engage them in solutions to plastic pollution in the ocean.

If you would like to support the team directly, please visit their Just Giving page and support their two charities of choice, British Red Cross and Just One Ocean that are doing such brilliant work.

The Toughest Race with the Toughest Mission

Pictured Centre: William de Laszlo, the founder of GB Row, and Jim Bastin, GB Row World Record Holder, are no strangers to the challenge this new generation of rowers will face.

Plastic Oceans UK is proud to be the charity partner for GB Row 2020 Challenge. The toughest rowing race has teamed up to provide vital scientific support to help end the toughest mission that this planet currently faces: ending plastic pollution.

During their epic row around the coast, vital samples will be collected and information gathered. This data shall be sent to Portsmouth University and used to understand the real effects of plastic and other pollution within our UK coastlines.

We are extremely excited about the GB Row Race with Purpose scheme. Nothing like this has ever been done before and the data will be key for us as the leading Marine Biology Department in the UK,” says Professors Steve Fletcher and Alex Ford of the University of Portsmouth.

We wish the GB Row 2020 Challenge team and the Exe Endurow Crew the best of luck with this gruelling challenge. We hope to be able to join them at the finish line!

If you’d like to follow along the team’s progress once they kick off on 5 July, a live tracker will be uploaded to the GB Row website, so watch this space! We’re sure you’ll feel inspired and motivated by this incredible feat. Join the GB Row Challenge 2021 and sign up here. 

If you are interested in supporting the GB Row Challenge 2020 mission, you can donate through ourJust Giving page.