Over the weekend of May 4 - 7, the Celtic Challenge was held involving at the start 22 Celtic and Pembrokeshire Longboat rowing crews in the world's longest true rowing race.

This was the toughest year yet, with only 12 crews managing to complete the race. The rowers faced 90 nautical miles over the Irish Sea, as they start in Arklow in Wicklow and end in Aberystwyth.

Aberdyfi men's team were first home in a time of 17 hours, 50 minutes and four seconds. Last actually to finish were St. Michael's Rowing Club, Dunlaoghaire. Their time 27 hours, 18 minutes and 21 seconds.

Wiseman's Bridge, the club that I support, completed the race in 25 hours, 18 minutes and 23 seconds, in their boat Oarsome.

In tribute to the test of extreme endurance faced by those who took part in this challenge I have composed the following poem.

Celtic Odyssey Celtaidd

Embrace your Herculean challenge.Cwtch it

With every breath and every sinew

Infused by a Celtic passion.

In Unison sense your every stroke,

Your every caress of the waves

Drawing you towards Cartref, home, ever nearer.

Then in time journey's climax anticipated.

Arrival. With bodies spent, exhausted, yet ecstatic.

Knowing, with pride, that no one can deny your achievement.

Fel un, as one, Oarsome.

If you would like to find out more about the event or want to get involved with a rowing club local to you then visit:-

Wiseman's Bridge Rowing Club chose to raise money for two charities, namely the RNLI and Paul Sartori Foundation. Please consider donating at

Peter Lloyd Jones,

27 Heol y Parc,