Atlantic Challenge crew’s tribute to air crash victim

THE 2013 Woodvale Atlantic Rowing Challenge will set sail as planned—but the adventure will take on a new poignancy as the crew remember Vincent Kelly, one of the victims of the Nepal air tragedy.

Mr Kelly, aged 50, from Lostock, was killed in the crash along with his brother Darren, aged 45.

They were among seven Britons who died on their way to a trek in the Himalayas.

The father-of-two was a huge supporter of the Bolton Lads and Girls Club and was part of a group of businessmen preparing to set off on a daring 3,000-mile voyage across the Atlantic in a 29ft long boat.

He was the technical manager and official reservist for the challenge to raise money for the BLGC mentoring scheme.

Mr Kelly was part-way through completing his navigation exams when he died.

Team member Matt Tomkin said: “We were already 100 per cent committed to both the challenge and raising the money, Vincent will be with us every step of the way and will undoubtedly be in our thoughts before, during and after.

He was a very inspirational character and just thinking about the high standards he set will provide a massive boost to motivation.”

A tribute on the Bolton Atlantic Challenge website says: “As an exclub member, he knew how important the club is for the young people of Bolton, especially the junior mentoring programme that looks after some of the town’s most vulnerable youngsters through dedicated one-to-one support. This generosity wasn’t exclusive to Vincent, as both his wife, Jane, and son, James, also played their part in vital fundraising work for the club.

“Vincent’s death will leave a massive void in a team and as an individual there will simply be no-one to fill his place. He was a big bloke with a big heart and an even bigger grin. His thirst for adventure and ‘can do’ attitude set a benchmark that is difficult to follow and his absolute dedication to his family was nothing short of amazing.”

In 2011, Mr Kelly was instrumental in raising funds to help the club replace its old astroturf sports pitch by cycling 874 miles from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

Other members of the Atlantic challenge team include Mark Brocklehurst, from the Sharples Group, Nick Griffiths, from Bupa, and Finn Christo and Colin Nulty from Appliances Online.

The team has set itself a target of raising £250,000.

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