Yare Club rower celebrates 60 mile marathon from Norwich to Beccles and back

Norfolk estate owner Anthony Meynell is sore but delighted this week after completing a 60 mile charity row to celebrate his 60th birthday.

Mr Meynell, of Berry Hall, Honingham, near Dereham, was joined on his journey from Norwich to Beccles and back by two friends, Robert Conway, of Norwich Rowing Club, and Lawrence Taylor, of Broadland Boat Club.

Starting out in single sculls at 4.30am from the Yare Boat Club on Thorpe Island, near Norwich, where Mr Meynell is a member, they proceeded down the Yare to Reedham and on to Beccles via the new cut and river Waveney.

After a break at Beccles Rowing Club, they set off on the return leg, arriving back in Norwich at about 5pm to be greeted by a flotilla of Yare club members.

Mr Meynell is hopeful the row will raise more than �3,500 for the charity FarmAfrica, which provides support and training to African farmers.

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It is a charity close to his heart after working in Botswana as a VSO volunteer for two years.

'I will have raised enough to equip 980 African families with basic farming tools.

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'We are keeping the www.virginmoneygiving.com/AnthonyMeynell site open to see if we can raise even more,' he said.

Mr Meynell, who has been rowing for 47 years since his days at Eton College, said: 'We had gone 18 miles on Friday before we even saw a Broads cruiser.

'It was lovely and peaceful and we had perfect tidal conditions.'

While there were few people around, there was plenty of wildlife and they spotted marsh harriers on the Waveney near Oulton Dyke.

He praised his wife Debbie –a 'one-woman support crew' – and highlighted the sterling efforts of Hockering physiotherapist Liz Palmer, who donated her services free and worked on their aching joints at stops in Reedham and at Cantley on the way back.

Mr Conway, 53, said: 'Arriving back, I had an overwhelming sense of relief we had done it without broken boats or bodies.

'It was an amazingly long way.'


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