Epic Row Turns into Epic Romance as Charity Rower Pops the Question
Saturday (April 2) saw the beginning of the final phase of the Great Big Cornish Gig Project run by the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, as a team of wounded injured and sick military veterans began their Epic Row from Falmouth to the Isles of Scilly. And for one participant the day proved to be extra special as he took the opportunity to propose to his girlfriend.
As the gig named H4H Valiant, headed off from Falmouth Watersports Centre accompanied by a flotilla of boats from a number of local gig clubs and a tug from A&P spraying its water cannons, Huw Ingram saw his chance to make an extra special marriage proposal to his girlfriend Sarah Fitzpatrick.
Royal Navy veteran, Huw says: “As we rowed past I could see Sarah on the spectator boat within earshot and it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss. Sarah and I have been unofficially engaged for a while and I was just picking my moment to make it public – and you couldn’t get more public than that! I asked ‘will you marry me’ and her response: ‘Oh go on then!’”
The Great Big Cornish Gig Project has involved beneficiaries training in boatbuilding skills and building a Cornish pilot gig. Following the completion of the build the team of veterans who built the boat are now rowing it to the Isles of Scilly from Falmouth, in what’s been dubbed the Epic Row. Once they reach the Scillies, ownership of the gig will pass to the Help for Heroes Gig Rowing Team who will compete in the World Pilot Gig Championships.
The Epic Row is sponsored by the South West’s favourite ale, Tribute and along the way, a series of St Austell Brewery sponsored evening events will ensure everyone gets a chance to show their support for the project and celebrate with the rowers and support crew in traditional Cornish style. Each event will kick off at 5.30pm, once the gig has been safely brought ashore for the night, attended by a series of armed forces charities with entertainment and ale on tap to help raise funds for wounded ex-servicemen and their families.
For more information about the Epic Row go to www.facebook.com/BigGigProject