William De Laszlo
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William de Laszlo, 25, has just completed the GB Row Challenge, for rowing completely around the United Kingdom. He was born and brought up in South London and later in Hampshire.
While taking his degree at Oxford Brookes University, Will also pursued a variety of sports, from 1st XV rugby to Elite 4 Rowing. He represented Great Britain in 2 international rowing championships, winning two gold medals. He also boxed for Oxford in the Varsity Match.
After University, Will organised and executed a sponsored charity run and cycle biathlon, running and bicycling for 24 hours covering a distance of 204 miles, raising £84,000 for The Royal Marsden Hospital Leukaemia Database.
Will had always wanted to serve in the army and so he followed this desire and in May 2002 entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and was duly commissioned into the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards in April 2003.
Areas of Expertise
Will took up the GB Challenge to raise Â£1 million for Leukaemia Research. Will and his team started the challenge on the 7th of June 2005 and completed the challenge on the 4th of July 2005. Whether the intention was to finish on Independence Day, no-one can say for certain.
Will and his team finished the 2110 mile challenge in 31 days, averaging just over 68 miles per day, sometimes in very harsh and difficult conditions
To achieve this challenge, Will had to undertake an incredible fitness regime, which would test the resolve of even the world's greatest athletes. This involved both cardio-vascular training and strength training, for 3 or more hours per day.
Having his army training as a good grounding, no doubt made this regime easier to bear, physically if not mentally.
The aims of the event were;
- Raise money for and the profile of two very worthwhile charities: The Outward Bound Trust (OB) and Leukaemia Research.
- Set a New World Record, for circumnavigating Great Britain in a rowing boat.
- Adventurous training and to complete a personal challenge in extremely adverse conditions. To achieve the aim by successfully managing and overcoming real and perceived dangers, whilst learning new individual and team skills
Will and the team achieved all the aims that they set out for themselves, with the perfect mixture of planning, preparation, perseverance, and of course perspiration.
This was a truly incredible feat, carried out for a worthy cause.
Will de Laszlo can demonstrate what can be achieved with the right mindset, motivation, planning and team-work.
"The circumnavigation of Britain by four oarsmen is a remarkable achievement. It requires exceptional courage, determination and team work. I hope it will encourage all those who are taking their first steps in adventurous pursuits through Outward Bound courses to overcome novel challenges."
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,
Patron of The Outward Bound Trust and Colonel-in-Chief of the Grenadier Guards
"I'm so proud of the four rowers who've worked with such determination and bravery over the last four weeks to overcome the hardships they faced on their incredible journey around Britain. It is so like the battle new leukaemia patients have to go through. The money the rowers have raised through battling against the sea will be used to help our patients win their battle against leukaemia."
Professor Ray Powles - Bud Flannagan Leukaemia Fund
"The last stretch is always the toughest because it seems to take for ever. But you are doing fantastically well - don't let the occasional setback get you down. And what a tribute to your planning, Will, to have loaded spare oars. God speed, and may the winds be kind. Love, Clare"
"I have sailed round Britain twice in the Two Handed Round Britain and Ireland Race and well know the hazards in a yacht, to do it in a rowing boat is quite fantastic and add to that the interpersonal dynamics of the crew and how they get on leads to a great adventure. It is unlikely that anything will happen to upset the apple cart now so I guess full congratulations is in order. A great feat of endurance and tenacity, and now where will their focus be... Only one great rowing challenge left, New Zealand to Cape Town via Cape Horn and I bet they are thinking of it. Again very many congratulations you must be justly proud and so you should be. Chay"
Sir Chay Blyth CBE BEM