On January 1, Colgate rowing alumni Paul Ridley set off on a one-man trans-Atlantic expedition in order to help raise awareness and support for cancer research through his organization, Row For Hope.
Raised in Binghamton, Ridley, who began his rowing career at Colgate and has continued to train at the Norwalk River Rowing Association, is rowing the 2,950 miles solo. His 19-foot boat is just large enough for one rower and is equipped with only oars and his own physical strength and endurance to power him on the trip.
On March 29, Ridley reached his end point, the Caribbean island of Antigua. He is the third and youngest American to row any ocean solo and unsupported.
Ridley was at sea with only a computer and satellite phone connecting him to his friends and family back home.
He regularly updated an online blog at solorow.blogspot.com chronicling his journey.
The 25-year old resident of Stamford, Conn. and his sister Joy Ridley founded the Row For Hope organization after losing their mother, Katherine Ridley, to skin cancer in 2001. The charity is focused on forwarding cancer research through their partnership with the Yale Cancer Center and Dr. Mario Sznol, Vice-Chief of Medical Oncology and Co-Director of the Yale Cancer Center Melanoma Program. Row For Hope looks to raise $500,000 for the cause through Ridley's and the organization's efforts.
Recently, fellow Colgate alum Robert Glendening has generously offered to match all new donations through the "Glendening Challenge". Glendening, whose own mother lost her battle with cancer in 2000, has been a long-time supporter of Colgate rowing, and along with his family donated Colgate's Glendening Boat House, in memory of Catherine Long Glendening.
Please visit rowforhope.com for more information on Row For Hope or to read Paul's daily blog from the Atlantic. All donations can also be made through the Row For Hope web site. Be sure to add that you wish to be a part of the "Glendening Challenge" in the Gift Information section online.