The Transatlantic Traffords

Father and sons take on 3,000 mile rowing challenge to support hospice

This December, James and his sons Hugo, 22, and Joe, 18, are taking on the once-in-a-lifetime challenge of rowing across the Atlantic to raise money for St Christopher’s.

On their estimated 60-day journey across the ocean, the Trafford team will need to take all their supplies and equipment on-board their boat – named St Christopher’s – as they will only have a satellite phone to communicate intermittently with the world.

The trio will take turns to row in shifts, alternating between two hours of rowing and two hours of rest all day and night, every day for at least two months.

James said: “We’re all really excited to get this rowing challenge underway, but I must admit other people’s reactions are starting to unnerve me! Of course there’s the physical side of the crossing, and for that we’re training hard in the gym and in the boat, but the mental challenge we’re going to face is probably the toughest part.

“We’re unlikely to see any other vessels once we’ve left port in the Canary Islands, so it’s just the three of us, with no-one on the horizon for months. We’ve also had to learn all kinds of survival skills – taking courses on first aid, crisis planning, even how to scale the side of a ship in an emergency.”

He added that what motivates him is the family’s goal to raise thousands of pounds for the hospice.

To help spur on their training, they visited the hospice this week and spoke to patients, volunteers and staff to hear how the money they raise will help people live their lives to the full.

“It’s an amazing place, with inspirational staff who take so much care to make people’s lives the best they can be, even if they are at the end of their life,” he said.

“Through their teaching programmes they are also helping people across the UK to be better supported when they are dying or bereaved, which is so important and often doesn’t get talked about enough. If we can support the hospice in just a small way, we will feel that we’ve really achieved something.”

To donate to James, Joe and Hugo’s mission, please visit