Sailor to do 24-hour, non-stop, solo row on Sidmouth sea for late brother-in-law

Laura Loudon-Griffiths on her rowing boat.

Laura Loudon-Griffiths on her rowing boat. - Credit: Archant

A Sidmouth sailor will soon be spending a whole day and night at sea - in just a rowing boat - to raise money in memory of her late brother-in-law.

Laura Loudon-Griffiths plans to complete a 24-hour, non-stop solo row in her 17ft Skiff rowing boat off the coast of Sidmouth.

The 61-year-old, who has been rowing since the age of three, hopes to raise £2,500 for Exeter Hospiscare and Parkinson’s UK.

Laura said, weather permitting, she hopes to do take on the row on June 16.

She added: “It’s a sad fact that everybody has someone they know who has suffered with cancer, and in some cases has died from the disease.

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“My somebody is Roger Markham - a gentle, caring soul who loved his family, Exeter Rugby Club and his garden.

“He was killed by a cancer that was very rare and very nasty, literally eating into his body. Even so, he maintained a quiet dignity in his suffering up to his death. He was a very brave man.”

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The mother-of-two said Roger’s final few weeks were spent at the Exeter hospice last year, which she described as an ‘amazingly tranquil place’.

Laura added: “It is so important to have the specialist expertise at the end stages of cancer to allay patients’ fears and bring them comfort and peace.

“Nobody can be certain that they might not need a hospice. It is there for everybody.

“I need you to help me raise as much money as I can to help other people benefit from the amazing care the hospice can give.”

Laura said she would also be raising money for Parkinson’s UK because of friend Mike Ford, who lent her a rowing machine to train on and is suffering with early-onset Parkinson’s himself.

Laura said she had completed a 12-hour row before, but never one for a whole day and night – although she had spent a lot of time sailing.

“I am really looking forward to it,” she said. “I will be in the boat for 24 hours, but will have my music, probably an audio book and a foam cushion. “I am also well-practised in the art of peeing in a bailer.

“It would be wonderful if I could raise this money.

“If anybody is around on the seafront on the 16th, please come and say hi – there will be a stall on Bedford Lawn Car Park.”

Visit to support Laura’s bid.

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