Below: IN-vision patron Naomi Riches MBE in training for her 165-mile challenge
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THE GREAT THAMES ROW
Naomi Riches MBE, Paralympic London 2012 gold medallist, is aiming to set a new world record next month by becoming the fastest woman to row the Thames in a single scull. Caroline Roberts reports
Naomi Riches’ ‘Great Thames Row’ will cover the 165 miles from Lechlade to Gravesend. The challenge is set for 17-19 September and the aim is to raise money for
IN-vision, a sight loss charity of which Naomi is patron. IN-vision is dedicated to combating nystagmus, one of the visual impairments that has affected Naomi since birth.
other conditions that are considered more serious so it doesn’t get the attention it deserves. We want to support research, make sure the patient pathway is there so it’s spotted early, and
“These guys were magnificent. Absolute gladiators.”
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“Remember these six minutes for the rest of your lives” – was said by
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who will have to quickly work out the best way to communicate directions to her. “I wanted to do that because everyone with a disability has to trust strangers every day to help them with simple tasks such as crossing roads and reading train information boards.” Naomi will need to complete the row in under 50 hours for it to be recognised as a new world best by the Guinness Book of Records. As well as the 45 locks she will have to negotiate, the biggest challenge will be tiredness. “After about
Support Naomi! Anyone can row a section of the river with Naomi for a donation of £16.50. She will be accompanied by a flotilla of boats during the daylight sections. Or why not encourage your club to hold a fundraising barbecue to coincide with the row?
ANYONE CAN ROW A SECTION OF
THE RIVER WITH NAOMI FOR A
DONATION OF £16.50
“It’s one of the most common eye conditions in children but it often comes with a range of eventually find a cure.” On the row, her support launch will be crewed by a succession of strangers,
12 hours, nobody is allowed to ask me how I’m feeling. If they ask, it means I’ll have to think about it!” she says.
12 || ROWING & REGATTA || SEPTEMBER 2016