From Battlefield to Barbados: Row2Recovery boat on display for first time at River & Rowing Museum

Early this year, four amputee and two able bodied servicemen completed an epic journey, rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic from the coast of Africa to Barbados. The River & Rowing Museum, Henley on Thames, will be exhibiting the boat that was used to cross the ocean and will tell the story of the crew’s remarkable story. During the 3,000 mile, 51 day adventure, the crew overcame some significant obstacles from technical disasters to horrific weather conditions.

The public will have a chance to hear all about their extraordinary journey, at a lecture on Saturday 27 October at the Museum. Hear all about their mission to not only raise £1M for military charities, but also to shine a spotlight on the extraordinary achievements of people with disabilities, and challenge misconceptions about what life is like for an injured soldier and their family. The event will also serve as the official launch of the crew's remarkable book The Row To Recovery and copies will be available for purchase and to be signed by crew members. Tickets available by calling 01491 415600 or more details at (

Paddy Nicoll, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, River & Rowing Museum:
“This Row2Recovery exhibition perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the Paralympics. It's an honour for us to tell the story of this amazing Row across the Atlantic by these brave amputee Servicemen. I think the public will be captivated.”

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Press Contacts

Jack Hickmott, Kallaway: 0207 221 7883 

William Kallaway, Kallaway, 0207 221 7883

Catherine Yoxall, River & Rowing Museum: 01491 415642

River & Rowing Museum, Mill Meadows, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 1BF.

Follow River & Rowing Museum on Twitter: @river_rowing

About Row2Recovery

The extraordinary story of the six who took part in the toughest rowing race in the world, The Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge, generated nearly one million pounds for three military charities but also inspired those less able in dramatic fashion. On their epic 51-day, 3,000-mile voyage across the Atlantic the crew were faced with a multitude of heart-breaking obstacles ranging from horrific weather to unfortunate technological mishaps ultimately causing irreparable damage to of their boat. In defiance of the Challenge’s disqualification rules the crew were given repair assistance and continued their journey to complete the race.

Fact Box about the race

  • The journey took 51 days to complete
  • The crew rowed three hours on, three hours off
  • The crew members consumed 6,000 calories per day
  • The boat is nine meters long and two meters wide
  • The boat is a fours boat specially adapted for six men
  • 17 crews started the race. 11 finished.
  • Three crew members were able to fit into the two tiny cabins at a time
  • More people have been into space than have rowed the Atlantic
  • The crew endured blisters, salt rashes and sleep deprivation
  • The R2R crew covered an average distance of 59 miles a day.
  • The Atlantic race was inspired by Captain John Ridgway and Sergeant Chay Blyth’s open boat row across the Atlantic in 1966. They took 96 days.
  • Lieutenant Will Dixon was hit in the head by a flying fish
  • The boat’s solar panels powered the navigation and communications systems
  • The crew would often row naked to reduce friction burns

About The River & Rowing Museum:

The River & Rowing Museum is one of the UK's leading regional and sporting museums, attracting over 114,000 visitors a year. The Museum, an independent charity, also has a purpose built education centre visited by over 20,000 children and adults a year. The Museum provides superb value for money - tickets are £8 for adults and £6 for children and provide free access for a year.

Designed by David Chipperfield and located on the banks of the River Thames in Henley on Thames, the Museum celebrates and explores four core themes through a wide variety of exhibitions and events across four galleries and special exhibitions:

  1. Rivers: Using the Thames as a starting point, the Museum explores the environmental, ecological and social impacts of water and rivers across the world.
  2. Henley on Thames: This historic town, home to the Henley Royal Regatta and host to the Rowing competition in the 1908 and 1948 Olympic Games, has a colourful history dating back to the stone age, all captured in a dedicated gallery explored through hugely popular temporary exhibitions.
  3. The international sport of rowing: One of the world’s most significant collections of rowing memorabilia, charting the sport from ancient beginnings to present day, is held at the Museum. The sport is also celebrated through temporary exhibitions throughout the year.
  4. The Wind in the Willows: popular with children and families, this exhibition recreates the timeless E H Shepard illustrations from Kenneth Grahame's famous novel, taking visitors on a journey through the world famous riverside tale of Mr Toad and his friends.

Since opening in August 1998 the Museum has received numerous awards including the National Heritage/NPI Museum of the Year award and the Sandford Award For Heritage Education.

Location, opening and ticket information

  • The River & Rowing Museum, Mill Meadows, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 1BF. Tel. 01491 415600.
  • The Museum, terrace café and shop are open every day from 10am - 5.30pm in summer and 10am - 5pm in the winter
  • Tickets give FREE admission for a whole year!
  • Admission is just £8 for adults, £6 for children aged four and over, FREE for children aged three and under and £6 for senior citizens and concessions
  • Free parking for visitors
  • Members of the British Armed Forces and their families receive discounted tickets.
  • The River & Rowing Museum is part of the Thames Valley Museums Group (TVMG) Family Friendly initiative - a scheme that brings together 29 Museums across Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, to promote their popular appeal to the whole family
  • Signatory to the Kids in Museums Manifesto
  • Art Fund members are entitled to free admission