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Challenging the English Channel

On May 12th 2022, HOP Ambassador Louis Alexander and his team completed a new feat of endurance by rowing the English channel, all in the name of charity.

HOP spoke with Louis after the row to find out more about his training and how the monumental row of 23 nautical miles took place, to which Louis and his team were “joined by dolphins, seals and shipping containers!”

Before the team began the row, Louis said “due to everyone’s different schedules, our longest training session down in Portsmouth was only 2 hours long. Heading out towards the Channel with a potential 5-6 hour long row ahead of us, there was definitely some anticipation. But pretty quickly the team fell into a good rhythm, and it was clear everyone had also been putting in their own training back home.”

Whilst the team was at sea, Louis told HOP “on Monday 9th May, the weather was perfect: the sea was calm throughout, we had no rain and the sun was out for most of it! Our coach and cox, Mike, who has completed over 40 crossings now of the Channel said these conditions were incredibly rare.

Yet, despite the calm seas, Louis said “at one point of the row we found ourselves surrounded by 5 huge shipping vessels. Although the English Channel is not the longest stretch of water in the world, it is still considered by many as the busiest shipping lane in the world! We definitely saw first hand how busy the channel can be, and had quite a unique view experiencing this all from a tiny Cornish gig built for 7 people (6 rowers plus cox).

Despite the challenges faced during the row, Louis said that “there were moments during the row that our group fell into sync, and combined with the stillness of the water, it was almost therapeutic!”.

With the combination of grit and determination from the team, the row was complete in five and a half hours and though the row is now finished, Louis told HOP that he will be back in the English Channel very soon, but next time “without a boat

Truly exciting times lay ahead for Louis who exclaimed “Thank you to everyone who has supported our English Channel row and donated to our fundraising efforts in aid of Mental Health charities, and a huge thank you to my sponsors Thomas Franks, The Body Lab and of course HOP - Fuel Your Future for their support and making these adventures possible for me.

To donate to Louis’s fundraiser to support mental health and suicide prevention charities across the UK, follow the link:

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