West Wittering's Major Mick launches home-made boat with Ben Fogle for new 100-mile challenge

A retired army major, who raised more than £40,000 for charity by rowing 100 miles along Chichester canal, is taking the water again - this time with celebrity backing.

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 11:43 am

Major Mick Stanley launched his new boat, the Tintanic II, from Phyllis Court on the Thames on Thursday (May 28).

The 80-year-old retired army major from West Wittering was joined by writer and broadcaster Ben Fogle who helped him launch the boat and even took it out for a spin.

Mick said: "It was very exciting and a very happy day. It was beautiful weather and Ben turned up and was professional and charming as he always is.

Ben Fogle and Mick Stanley with the Tintanic II. Picture by Johnathan Buckmaster
Ben Fogle and Mick Stanley with the Tintanic II. Picture by Johnathan Buckmaster

"We had a great day. It was a question of of launching the boat and we did that and both went out for a bit of a row.

"Ben was quite impressed with my work I think. It was very generous of him to come and lend his support to the charity

Mick will be rowing 100 miles in the Tintanic II, in a follow-up expedition to one he did on Chichester canal last year.

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Ben Fogle and Mick Stanley with the Tintanic II. Picture by Johnathan Buckmaster

Ben Fogle said: "I was so moved by Major Nicks first heroic effort in Tintanic.

"As a Waterman myself, I admire anyone who takes to the water, particularly in a homemade craft. I’m delighted to join Major Mick as he begins his second expedition in Tintanic II in aid of Alzheimer’s. I look forward to being outpaddled by the Major."

Mick added: "I am feeling very excited and I'm looking forward to seeing lots of people on the tow paths again on the wonderful canals. I am especially looking forward to Scotland and I shall be going to Loch Ness.

"Last year must have given me a taste for doing it again. Not only did I raise quite a bit of money for charity but I got a great kick out of talking to people."

Mick will be raising money for Alzheimer's research UK.

"It's an efficient and well-run organisation and generate something like £20 million each year but they had a drop of some 35 per cent in their revenue so all money that can be raised will be well received."