Begbies Traynor Group plc

04/04/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/04/2024 04:22

Duo of Yorkshire professionals’ trans-Atlantic rowing bid backed by Begbies Traynor

Date Published:04/04/2024

Two lawyers based in Leeds have taken on a mid-life challenge with a difference, launching a bid to raise £100,000 for two Yorkshire charities by building on the region's previous success in conquering the Atlantic and competing in the World's Toughest Row in 2025.

David Knaggs and Richard Larking, who will be 60 and 59 respectively when they set off rowing their 7.1m boat 3,000 miles from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua in 18 months' time, have secured substantial backing from leading independent business rescue and recovery specialist Begbies Traynor in their bid to become one of the oldest teams to complete the gruelling trans-Atlantic rowing race.

The rowers have already covered the entrance fees and travel expenses themselves, and the aim is now to raise at least £100,000 to benefit their chosen charities, Maggie's, which supports people with cancer, their families and friends, and Friends of Alfie Martin, which raises funds for neonatal equipment at the Leeds teaching hospitals.

After working for major legal firms in Yorkshire for more than 50 years between them, the pair are well-known within the Leeds professional community. Richard, who lives in Harrogate, left school at 16 and joined the Royal Navy before training as a lawyer. David, originally from the south, moved to Yorkshire after leaving school, joining national law firm Irwin Mitchell and becoming regional managing partner.

The pair, who met at Alwoodley Golf Club, came up with the idea of swapping the fairways of the golf course for the Atlantic Ocean. They both shared the desire for a greater challenge than the golf course and the team 'Greens2Blue' was formed.

Their boat has been specially designed to compete in the race and will be named by one of the Begbies Traynor team in Yorkshire as part of an employee competition.

Julian Pitts, regional managing partner for Begbies Traynor's 10 offices across Yorkshire, Humberside and the North East, is confident that Yorkshire grit will prevail, regardless of age, and the duo will achieve their dream of completing the epic race while also raising £100,000 for the charities.

"The mammoth task that David and Richard are taking on is inspirational, showing that age is just a number and that anything is possible with determination and perseverance, and we hope to help them raise much needed funds for two great Yorkshire causes.

"We felt the synergies between the physical and mental trials of undertaking the World's Toughest Row while being twice the age of many of the other teams competing, resonated with the support we provide to businesses in what are often the most challenging and stressful of times. We are great advocates of supporting those facing adversity and we urge the business community here to join us in supporting them."

David comments: "We're well aware that rigorous preparation is vital to ensure we are in the best possible position to fly the flag for Yorkshire when we set off from La Gomera in mid December 2025. As we continue what will be a three-year campaign to reach the race start line, we have an exhaustive programme planned, covering everything from improving our endurance with fitness challenges to on-water training with an ocean rowing coach to ensure we understand the boat and have the skills we need. We're very pleased to welcome Begbies Traynor on board as headline sponsor at such an early stage and hope it will encourage other partners to help us as we strive to continue the great legacy of the Yorkshire Rows back in 2016."

Richard adds: "With my naval background, I'm only too aware that this will be a monumental challenge as we battle against sleep deprivation, salt sores and the physical extremes of taking on a 3,000 mile unsupported row safely. It currently looks like we will be the only Yorkshire team in the 2025 race and possibly one of, if not the oldest team too. We will be doing all we can to raise as much money as possible for the charities."

In addition to the support from Begbies Traynor, further 'partner' opportunities can be found on the website: