Solihull farmer rows Atlantic in memory of son - The Solihull Observer

Solihull farmer rows Atlantic in memory of son

Solihull Editorial 29th Feb, 2024   0

A TURKEY farmer has rowed 3,200 miles across the Atlantic in memory of his son.

Rod Adlington and the Brightsides crew completed the unassisted crossing from The Canary Islands to the Caribbean in 52 days and 18 hours to become the first mixed crew and fastest team to complete the C-Map Atlantic Dash regatta – one of the world’s toughest endurance challenges.

The Balsall Common farmer took on the challenge in aid of Get A-Head and Meningitis Now in honour of his son Barney, who died from meningitis in 2005 when he was just three-year’s old.

Rod, who runs Adlington Turkey Farms, was joined on the crossing by arable farmer Guy Minshull from Kenilworth, serving paratrooper Alex Perry and Lancashire vet Anna Williams.

They set off from the island of Lanzarote on January 3 in their boat named Mrs Nelson and crossed the finishing line at Jolly Harbour in Antigua on February 25.

The team faced significant storms, waves as high as 30ft, challenging wind conditions, flying fish, sea sickness, sleep deprivation and severe blistering to the hands during the voyage.




They also experienced some of the most magnificent sunsets, multiple close encounters with dolphins and whales and Rod celebrated his 58th birthday whilst out at sea.

In addition to being the first mixed team to complete this specific challenge, Anna is also the first female to have successfully finished the regatta.


Rod said: “I feel amazing, it’s just incredible that we made it.

“I think the worst moment was when we had to row backwards to make sure we hit the wind in the right direction so that we could move forwards again. That was tough. But we made it, and we are incredibly grateful for all the support we have received.

“My three crew mates have been utterly incredible, and I’d like to thank them from the bottom of my heart.

“We’ve rowed for more than 660 two-hour sessions and the boat has only stopped five-times – on one occasion to celebrate my birthday and the others so that we could scrape the hull.

“Hand on heart, I can honestly say that we left Lanzarote as three colleagues and we have arrived in Antigua as friends for life.”

During their time at sea The Brightsides team – named after Barney’s favourite song Mr Brightside by The Killers – have been raising money for UK charities, Meningitis Now and Get A-Head, which supports people with head and neck disease.

So far, the team has raised more than half of its £250,000 target.

For more or to donate click here.

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