OVER 24 hours at sea, covering 90 nautical miles and raising nearly £2,000 for the RNLI added up to an ‘oarsome’ experience for a team of Pembrokeshire rowers.

The group from the Wisemans Bridge Rowing Club were amongst 22 teams competing in the recent Celtic Challenge - one of the sport’s most gruelling UK events.

And their team spirit and stamina saw them triumph over the elements to make the voyage - between Arklow, on Ireland’s east coast, to Aberystwyth - in 24 hours 17 minutes and 15 seconds.

The challenge got off to an early start when it was decided to bring the race forward by 24 hours because of weather conditions.

Rowing in shifts a-board their craft Oarsome this was the first time that the crew had taken on a challenge of this kind, and half of them were actually in their first year of rowing.

“Oarsome crossed the line to a tumultuous reception,” said crew member Nick Ryan. “There wasn’t one dry eye on the boat and emotionally, physically and mentally we were spent.

“I feel very privileged to have experienced it with an amazing bunch of people, none of whom I would have changed - not even for Steve Redgrave!”

Sponsorship came from Valero, Murco, Pembroke Power Station, St Brides Hotel, Saundersfoot; Shoreline Café, Saundersfoot; Force 4 Chandlery , Cardiff and Ocean Hair, Saundersfoot, while many local businesses and club members who gave donations, raffle prizes and supported fundraising.

At a celebratory party at the club’s home venue, the Wisemans Bridge Inn, Tenby RNLI was presented with a cheque for £1,927.34 in thanks for their ongoing safety training.