A group of gig rowers will attempt a gruelling 20-mile round trip from St George’s Harbour to North Rock in support of Robertson’s Drug Store, which was badly damaged by fire last month.
The pharmacy on York Street, St George’s suffered a devastating blaze on September 2. The business has partially reopened using the lower section of the store, but some rebuilding work will be needed to fully repair the property.
The local business community has rallied round with help and support, and Robertson’s took up the offer to use a vacant shop space on Water Street for a two-week fire sale, which ended last week.
Now members of the island’s gig rowing community have also stepped forward. There is a direct connection, as Joy Rothwell, manager and co-owner of Robertson’s, is also a gig rower.
Susannah Cole, one of those involved in the “Rowing for Robertson’s” fundraiser, said fellow rowers wanted to show their support and will tackle a variety of challenges around the island on Saturday.
“One crew will attempt a 20-mile row to North Rock and back starting at East End Mini Yacht Club. This will be the first time a gig has rowed to North Rock since gigs were reintroduced to Bermuda in 2015,” she said.
The gig rowers have set up a crowdfunding page for the Rothwell family on the YouCaring site, and all funds raised as a result of the rowing challenges will be donated to a charity chosen by the family.
As for tackling the epic distance to North Rock and back, it should be within the capabilities of the rowers who last month showed they could handle a 20-mile distance on the River Thames, in England, when they competed in the Great River Race.
Bermuda’s “Beauty and the Beasts” team was the fastest all-women gig boat at the event, and 59th overall, in 2 hrs 41 mins. Two other gig boats from the Bermuda Pilot Gig Club, competing as mixed teams, also completed the course.
Ms Cole expects the North Rock challenge to involve four or five hours of rowing, depending on the weather and sea conditions.
Funds raised by the local gig rowing community undertaking the various challenges will be presented to the Rothwell family at the East End Mini Yacht Club in St George’s on Saturday at 5.30pm. All are welcome to attend.