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Team Brightsides’ epic row across the Atlantic for Meningitis Now is a huge success

22nd March 2024

Meningitis Now Trustee Rod Adlington, along with three other crew members, have successfully rowed 3,200 miles across the Atlantic Ocean in memory of Rod’s son, Barney, who died of meningitis aged three. They have raised an amazing £146,000.

Rods Row Blog frame

The journey took seven weeks to complete as Rod, Anna, Alex and Guy made their way from Lanzarote to Antigua, tackling 30ft waves and temperatures of minus 40 degrees.

The crew - named ‘The Brightsides’ in honour of Barney’s favourite song Mr Brightside by The Killers - took it in turns to row in pairs for two-hour shifts. During the entire journey the boat only stopped for a couple of hours to be cleaned.

The crossing took longer than anticipated due to unpredictable sea conditions and testing weather. But while battling storms and sleep deprivation were certainly a challenge, the team also experienced breathtaking sunsets and close encounters with dolphins, whales and other marine life. Rod also celebrated his 58th birthday whilst out in the ocean.

They are the fastest crew to have completed the C-Map Atlantic Dash in 52 days, 18 hours and 53 minutes, and crew member Anna is also the first woman to have successfully finished the event.

When The Brightsides arrived at their final destination in Antigua, their families, friends and a large crowd of local residents were gathered on the harbour, cheering and waving to welcome them.

Rod, who is also a Turkey farmer based in the Midlands, described the moment they arrived. “All of us suddenly burst into tears. It was just unbelievable. It will live with us for the rest of our lives."

They raised an incredible £146,000, which was split between Meningitis Now and Get A-Head Charitable Trust.

A massive thank you to Rod and Team Brightside for their incredible fundraising efforts. If you are interested in donating to Rod and their team visit their page.

To find out more about fundraising for Meningitis Now, check out our events, opportunities and other ways you can get involved on our website. or get in touch with our Fundraising team on fundraising@meningitisnow.org.