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Star guests line up to wave off Brightsides crew ahead of Atlantic challenge

A former British world record holder and popular TV presenter are among the guests lined up for a special party to honour two Midlands-based farmers as they prepare to row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean for charity.

Rod Adlington, from Solihull, and Guy Minshull, from Kenilworth, along with the rest of The Brightsides rowing crew, will leave the UK on December 4 in preparation for the start of the Atlantic Dash challenge in January.

However, before their departure, they will be hosting a special leaving party on December 1, at Coventry Rugby Club.

Family, friends, business partners and sponsors will gather for the occasion alongside star guests David Moorcroft OBE, who once held the world 5,000m running record, and Countryfile presenter Adam Henson.

Tickets are still available for the party – which will also help raise funds for head and neck cancer charity Get A-Head and Meningitis Now.

Rod said: “It is gearing up to be a really special evening and we would like to invite members of the public to attend and celebrate with us as we prepare for this incredible challenge.

“Adam Henson, who is a firm family favourite, has agreed to host the evening for us and former runner and world record holder David Moorcroft OBE will be talking about his career as an athlete.

“We’ll also be hosting an auction and doing what we can to continue to raise funds for our two charities and we’d love as many people as possible to come along and enjoy the evening.”

Rod and Guy will be joined by crew members Alex Perry and Anna Williams for the 3,000-mile row from Lanzarote to Antigua.

The foursome will spend up to six weeks at sea on board their 28ft rowing boat – Mrs Nelson – and are likely to encounter waves as high as 40ft.

The team are racing in memory of Rod’s son Barney, who died of meningitis at the age of three within 24 hours of being diagnosed.

Since Barney’s passing, Rod and his family, have been avid supporters of Meningitis Now helping to raise awareness.

It’s hoped this challenge will raise in excess of £250,000 with funds being split between Meningitis Now and Midlands-founded charity Get A-Head.

Tom Bromwich, chair of trustees at Get A-Head, said: “Our work to support people with head and neck cancer is extremely important but we can only continue to fund vital equipment and research into causes and treatments with this kind of support. What Rod and the crew are hoping to do is absolutely amazing and we are looking forward to the event in December so that we can wish them the very best for the incredible challenge which lies ahead.”

Tickets for the event can be purchased in advance at a cost £15 and are available by emailing [email protected] or contacting Karen on 07966 184507.

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