Challenge Business has announced the sale of its ocean rowing races to Woodvale Events

Challenge Business has announced the sale of its ocean rowing races to Woodvale Events Ltd, the current title sponsor for its latest Atlantic Rowing Race.

The company’s current portfolio of ocean rowing races includes the Atlantic Rowing Race for pairs and the Ocean Fours Rowing Challenge, a race for teams of four, which will see rowers cross the North Atlantic in June 2005.

The Atlantic Rowing Race was first run in 1997. Nearly seven years on the race is still going strong, with 15 teams currently making their way across the same 2,900 mile route from La Gomera, Canary Islands to Barbados, West Indies in the third edition of this unique event.

The race was the brainchild of Sir Chay Blyth, who was the first British man to row across the North Atlantic, for which he received the British Empire Medal, a feat he completed in 1966 together with John Ridgeway. Sir Chay Blyth, executive chairman of Challenge Business, comments: “We’ve decided that as a company we strategically want to focus our attentions on our sailing events, particularly the Global Challenge and our other shorter yacht races, the Challenge Transat and the Round Britain Challenge, which are new and proving to be extremely popular.”

Woodvale Events will take over the organisation of the ocean rowing races when the current race finishes at the beginning of January 2004. Simon Chalk, managing director of Woodvale Events is no stranger to rowing, having rowed in the very first event himself and recently hitting the headlines when he became the first British man to row the Indian Ocean solo, earlier on this year. Commenting on the purchase Chalk commented: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been given the opportunity to continue the development of these truly unique events. Ocean rowing offers incredible experiences to all that take the first step – We intend to share these experiences and make the sport even more accessible. We intend to build on the solid foundations that the Challenge Business have created and continue to provide professional and above all safe events.”