Cyclists raise more than £7,000 for charities in memory of Broads yachtsman

Staff from TRO and the East Anglian Air Ambulance with the cheque. Picture: Submitted

Staff from TRO and the East Anglian Air Ambulance with the cheque. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

Cyclists who used pedal power to boost two charities in their friend's memory have raised more than £7,000.

Tom Gentle, pictured earlier this year.

Tom Gentle, pictured earlier this year. - Credit: Archant

Eight friends and colleagues biked from London to Paris in April in aid of the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) and the Jubilee Sailing Trust as a tribute to respected yachtsman Tom Gentle.

Sailor Mr Gentle, from Booton, died while preparing for a race at the Norfolk Broads Yacht Club in Wroxham in September last year.

The group - who worked with Mr Gentle at event company TRO - set out to finish the ride in less than 24 hours, after Mr Gentle and colleagues narrowly missed out on the target when doing the same journey in 2015.

In the end, the eight cyclists made it in 22 hours and 40 minutes - with two of the group, joined by another two friends, taking on the Paris Marathon the following day.

The impressive feat saw them raise £3,665.87 for both charities.

Gary Wootton, operators director at TRO, said: 'After our less than perfect trip in 2015, we all felt we had unfinished business, and Tom was the first to suggest a re-run in 2016, this was typical of his indomitable spirit.

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'Having worked with Tom for 27 years I rarely saw him beaten by anything. He was one of the most competitive, energetic and inspirational men I've ever known. It was an honour and privilege for us to achieve this challenge in his memory, and knowing that it would have definitely put a big smile on his face.'

Holly Lambert, area fundraising manager for EAAA, said: 'The average mission cost is £3,500 and each mission could involve multiple patients so the donation from the TRO team to our charity will undoubtedly have a significant impact. We would like to extend thanks to all those involved in the [London to Paris for Tom Gentle] challenge.'

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