CHICHESTER, England (Reuters) – An 80-year-old retired British army major is attempting to row 100 miles (161 km) in a boat he built from corrugated iron to raise money for a hospice, following the example of record-breaking fundraiser Captain Tom Moore.
Michael Stanley, also known as Major Mick, said he built the vessel during the COVID-19 lockdown, inspired by boats he had seen used by children in India.
“It was an idea I had in my mind when the lockdown came. I thought I’d buy two sheets of corrugated iron and hopefully make it float like a boat,” he said in an interview.
Stanley started rowing the boat, which he has named “Tintanic”, along the Chichester canal in West Sussex, southern England, last month.
“It goes extremely well, I’ve worked out it travels about two miles an hour,” he said. “It glides through the water and generally speaking doesn’t leak too much.”
He is doing two three-mile round trips every week until he completes his challenge, which is benefiting the local Saint Wilfrid’s Hospice.
Stanley, who served in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards for 35 years, has already raised 12,000 pounds ($15,600), beating his original 1,000 pound target.
His challenge emulates on water the feat of 100-year-old Captain Tom Moore, who raised a record 33 million pounds by walking 100 laps in his garden. Moore was knighted by Queen Elizabeth for his achievement in July.
(This story corrects distance walked by Captain Tom to 100 laps)
(Writing by Paul Sandle; Editing by Gareth Jones)