Shropshire farmer going strong in Amazon challenge

North Shropshire | News | Published:

A dairy farmer is more than a quarter of the way into an epic challenge which is seeing him attempt to row the entire length of one of the world's longest rivers.

Simon Furnival, 45, is rowing the entire 2,077-mile navigable length of the Amazon River in South America to raise money to support disabled children.

The father-of-three from Shropshire, who began the challenge along with four friends on November 1, hopes to complete the challenge by November 30.

The team, which this week reached as far as Belezas in Brazil, have been facing a series of navigational challenges as they continue to row throughout the day and night.

A blog on the team's website said: "Over the past week the crew has successfully rowed the length of the Amazon between Nauta, Peru, and Tabatinga, Brazil.

A progress tracker on is keeping followers up-to-date about the men's Amazon mission

"This involved leaving Peru, passing through Colombia, and arriving in Brazil in one single day. That's some effort.

"Despite having lost a couple of days due to the longer-than-expected stay in Tabatinga, the guys seem to be making great progress.

"The team's most recent GPS location was sent near to Sao Paolo de Olivença, Brazil.


"This is roughly 500 miles from the start point of Nauta, Peru, meaning that the crew is actually ahead of schedule.

"In fact, the guys are about a quarter of the way through the challenge.

"There are no safety concerns and the team is in good hands. All is well and they are making good progress through Brazil."

The team have been photographing the mighty river


Before he departed for the challenge, Mr Furnival, from Norton-in-Hales, near Market Drayton, said that he will be driven on by the thought that his back-breaking efforts will be raising money for Caudwell Children, the national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.

He added that he and his wife also own a children's day nursery, so they have seen first-hand how the charity has changed the lives of disabled children and their families.

As part of the challenge, the former Grove School pupil, in Market Drayton, is having to withstand temperatures in excess of 29C, adapt to humidity of between 90 to 99 per cent, and avoid flesh-eating piranha fish if they are to succeed.

Their boat, named The Bishop, measures less than 28 feet and incorporates sleeping spaces at either end.

They are all members of the Shropshire Venture Rowing Club, and if they complete the challenge they will become only the second team in history to row the entire length of the river unsupported.

  • People can donate money by visiting
  • They can also follow the team’s progress by visiting

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.


Top stories


More from Shropshire Star

UK & International News