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Atlantic rowers aim to raise £50,000 for IN-vision

Four intrepid men – The Bucks Buoys – plan to raise a substantial sum of money for IN-vision when they row 3,000 miles in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge from the Canary Islands to Antigua at the end of this year. The Bucks Buoys are Kevin Luff (50) and his son, Rhys (21), from High Wycombe, Paul ‘Frankie’ Smith (60) of Thame and Nic Parslow (56) of Cumnor, Oxford. The race starts on December 12th 2019 and they are targeting to complete the voyage in under 40 days.

With just under 7 months to go they are progressing well in their rigorous training programme at Marlow Rowing Club under the direction of IN-vision Patron, Naomi Riches M.B.E., World Champion and 2012 Paralympic Rowing Gold Medallist. ” The guys are really passionate and enthusiastic about the challenge ahead. You’ve got to want it wholeheartedly and they do!” said Naomi. ” It does help if you’re a little bit bonkers…and they are working so hard.”


The Bucks Buoys - Rhys Luff, Frankie Smith, Kev Luff and Nic Parslow The Bucks Buoys (L-R)- Rhys Luff, Frankie Smith, Kev Luff and Nic Parslow


Naomi is meeting with the Buoys monthly to work intensively on technique and they are sending Naomi training videos frequently so that she can coach them remotely.” Rowing is an incredibly technical sport,” says Naomi “We need the Buoys to be able to row across the ocean using their bodies in the most effective way; that way there will be less chance of injury and they will cover a greater distance using less energy.”

Liz Charter, IN-vision’s Co-Founder & Chair added ” We are so excited and honoured that the Bucks Buoys have chosen to support IN-vision. At present there is no known cure or satisfactory treatment for nystagmus and the small number of dedicated research centres are in desperate need of such funding.

“Early and accurate diagnosis is so important for each child who develops the condition, and so we would use any money raised to purchase much needed equipment to facilitate diagnosis, and be of use in research, as well as funding a Researcher for a year, ” continued Liz. “The potential progress we could make into enhancing our understanding of the condition is enormous with such a substantial amount from the Bucks Buoys sea-faring effort.”

Together with IN-vision, the Bucks Buoys will be also be raising money for MacMillan Cancer Support and they have set themselves an impressive overall fundraising target of £100,000 to be split equally between both charities.

Their punishing training programme of fitness and conditioning also includes daily gym sessions and Iyengar yoga for strength, mobility and stability.” We have really gelled together well as a team,” said Frankie Smith, “and are confident that we shall be able to rise to meet both the physical and mental challenges that we shall face during the race.” The Bucks Buoys are especially grateful to sponsors David Lloyd Clubs and Iyengar Yoga Shala High Wycombe for their support.


Paralympic Gold Medallist, Naomi Riches M.B.E., putting the Bucks Boys through their paces at Marlow Rowing Club. Paralympic Gold Medallist, Naomi Riches M.B.E., putting the Bucks Boys through their paces at Marlow Rowing Club.

“Like all training it’s great when it finishes,” said Nic Parslow,” but the gradual improvements we have made in rowing times and weights lifted to reach our stamina and strength targets are real.” All the crew are fitting in individual training sessions – some with personal trainers – around their day jobs, but they get together at least twice a week. Rhys especially has extra motivation: “My Dad, Kevin and I are both very competitive so we never like to lose against each other. He certainly helps me get through our crew sessions!”

Being focussed as a team is vital to the success of the row as they all will confirm.” It has certainly been a life-changing experience for me – for the better – as I have lost 3 stone so far,” said Kevin.

The Bucks Buoys are actively looking for more Sponsors to fund key elements of their voyage and, of course, for the generosity of potential donors to swell their charity target.

For Sponsorship packages please contact
Please donate on their charity page
For more information on the Bucks Buoys visit or see Facebook page BucksBuoys and Instagram @BucksBuoys.
For a flavour of the Talisker Atlantic Challenge on You Tube
Media Contact: Jeff Galatin 07831 681592