Sea shanty performance gives morale boost to Wrekin Rowers during Atlantic crossing

The Wrekin Rowers have been given a huge boost in Wellington when about 300 shoppers and supporters filled the town centre to sing a sea shanty with the rowers listening in the Atlantic thousands of miles away.

Sea Shanty town business morale booster for the Wrekin Rowers
Sea Shanty town business morale booster for the Wrekin Rowers

A sea shanty written by one of the team, Martin Skehan, was sung by the crowd, led by Dave and Michelle Busby from Gratitude Cafe in Duke Street, butchers from Anthony's of Wellington and the wives of the rowers.

Listening on the phone were the four-man team; Stuart Shepherd, Martin Skehan, and brothers Gary and Stuart Richards.

They are taking part in the 3,000-mile crossing of the Atlantic Ocean as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. They suffered a setback a few days ago when their boat was holed by the spike of a marlin – but they patched the leak and carried on.

Stuart Richards struggled to contain his emotions as he thanked members of the crowd for their support saying they were brilliant.

Sea Shanty town business morale booster for the Wrekin Rowers

One of those behind Saturday's sea shanty meet-up was Tony Nicholls from Anthony's of Wellington.

He was part of the original 12-strong Wrekin Rowers squad and joined the four in a 17 hour row across the Irish Sea in May 2019.

Dave and Michelle Busby lead the Sea Shanty morale booster for the Wrekin Rowers

"Before we completed the Irish Sea challenge we spent three days in Ireland and Martin, who has Irish family, got the customers in the pubs over their singing with his penny whistle. He wrote the Sea Shanty," Tony said.

Tony said there had been a collection for the rowers' charities during the singalong.

"Dave was great on guitar leading the singing. We wanted to do something to boost the lads' spirits.

"Having the boat punctured by the Marlin dented their position in the race and also their spirits and we thought it would help them to know that Wellington was behind them."

The Wrekin Rowers are aiming to raise £100,000

"They were in ninth place but because of the hole in the boat they have slowed and are now in 13th position. Their estimated arrival day is now January 23."

He said the families would be flying out to Antigua in the week to ensure they were there when the boat came into harbour.

The money raised in support of the Wrekin Rowers will be split between the RNIB and Severn Hospice. They are aiming to raise £100,000.

Donations can be made at

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