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West Wittering's Major Mick visits The Kelpies on Tintanic II charity rowing challenge

A retired Army major from West Wittering who is rowing 100 miles across the country for charity in his home-made tin boat has enjoyed gliding past the “magnificent” Kelpies sculptures.

“Major Mick” Michael Stanley rowed along the Forth and Clyde Canal in his boat the Tintanic II as part of his challenge to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

The 80-year-old completed 100 miles rowing at 2mph twice a week along the Chichester Canal last December in the first Tintanic, raising more than £44,000 for his local hospice.

He launched at Henley on Thames in May for his second challenge and has since rowed at locations including the Kyle of Sutherland and the Falkirk Wheel in Scotland.

On his last row north of the border on Friday he visited The Kelpies, two 30-metre high steel sculptures of horse heads designed by sculptor Andy Scott.

Mr Stanley told the PA news agency: “At The Kelpies I was rowing up and down a short stretch of the canal.

“Normally when I go into the water I do three miles but it was a bit of fun locally with The Kelpies which are magnificent sculptures and I just wanted to go and see them and row up and down the Forth and Clyde Canal by them.

“It was fantastic, absolutely breathtaking sculptures and I wouldn’t have missed it for anything, it’s so wonderfully organised and clean and a really lovely atmosphere.”

The 80-year-old has so far rowed about 94 miles and estimates he will have covered between 115 and 120 miles by the time he finishes the challenge later this month in Chichester.

More than £7,700 has already been raised on a JustGiving page for the challenge, at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/majormick-tintanic

The retired Army officer, who served in The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards for 35 years, sold his original Tintanic boat for £480 for charity.

Mr Stanley, from West Wittering, West Sussex, said his new boat is proving itself up to the challenge.

He said: “Tintanic II is holding up very well, the modifications that I made to the original Tintanic last year have really eliminated all the leaks which I had last year, it’s holding up well and I hope it will do a few more miles.”

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