A SCHOOLBOY who grew up to row across the Atlantic has returned to pass his enthusiasm on to current pupils.
Former Prebendal pupil Tom Salt returned to the school in West Street, Chichester, to meet the children and share his experiences.
“I’m excited to be able to give the talk today, it’s always such a pleasure to talk about this,” he said.
Tom and his rowing partner Mike Burton rowed across the Atlantic in 41 days at the turn of the year, winning the Talisker Whiskey Challenge.
The 30-year-old and 53-year-old were first to arrive in Antigua after leaving the Canary Islands.
Birdham-born Tom returned to Prebendal to tell the children what it was like, 18 years after he left the school in 1996.
He said: “It is very nice to be back – I really expected to come and find things had changed a lot, but they’ve really stuck to the old traditions, which is lovely.”
He returned to the school on Tuesday, June 10, to talk about his 3,000-mile, transatlantic achievement.
“It’s an important time to talk to the students, especially as some of them will be going off to new schools soon,” said Tom.
“I hope by talking to them about this amazing experience, they will feel enthusiastic about taking new opportunities.
“I think it’s important to talk to them now because they don’t know what they’ll go on to achieve in their lives.
“If you’d told me ten years ago I’d be sailing across the Atlantic, I would have been stunned.”
Tom’s efforts succeeded in raising about £100,000 for a little-known Romanian charity called the Generous Hearts Foundation, based in Bucharest.
It cares for orphaned children, some of whom have mental and physical handicaps.
The pair finished the race in January and Tom previously described it as ‘overwhelming’, when they discovered hundreds of people waiting to cheer them over the finish line.
Their efforts received a huge amount of attention, with people sending messages of encouragement to the pair throughout their journey.
Tom told the Observer previously: “We were aware of just how much people were being incredibly supportive and really taking the time to write – something I never anticipated.
“Never did I think it would touch so many people that I might have known years ago or more randomly, people I’ve never met.”