Two Thames skiffs which will be rowed the entire length of the Mississippi have been named at a ceremony at Teddington.

A team led by Olympic rower John Pritchard (pictured above) will take part in the 2,500 mile, three month journey starting in August. The boats, constructed at the Stanley and Thomas boatyard at Windsor, will be shipped out to the United States shortly.

As reported by River Thames News in an earlier story, the aim of the Mississippi Million is to raise a million US dollars for the Right to Play charity which educates children throughout the world via play schemes. The 26 foot skiffs are named after a Ghanian boy, Richmond, who inspired the trip and Doreen an ambassador and advocate for the charity in the African country.

John Pritchard, UK chairman of the charity, speaking at the event at the Skiff Club said: "A million dollars will make a significant daily difference to tens of thousands of children in the most deprived countries in the world. This is dealing with the lives of child soldiers, people in astounding poverty,and this figure will represent around half the annual turnover of the UK charity.

"It has been my intention from the start that every penny raised in sponsorship goes to the charity. None of it goes on any of the costs associated with it. The costs are being covered by me, by friends and sponsors. For the people taking part if they raise $100 or $100,000 it all goes to the charity."

John Pritchard and a friend will row the whole river. Others from all over the world will take part in different legs of the trip. A back-up team includes a doctor, physiotherapist and nutritionist. International skuller Graeme Mulcahy has been coaching the rowers and will be part of the support team

John said:" I have world chamnpionship rowers with me but around half the participants will be people who have never rowed before. One of the big challenges is rowing six to eight hours a day for three months in very hot conditions and it is going to be very difficult."

One or two slots are still available for rowers..."particularly at the southern end near New Orleans where, if nothing else, we can guarantee a good party."

Link to earlier story

Mississippi Million
Right To Play
The Skiff Club
Stanley & Thomas
J Sutton

Story dated June 23rd 2014


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