In honour of International Women’s Day on Friday the 8th March, two all-women teams will take on the Portsmouth Pull, a 10km row around the world-famous Portsmouth Harbour, to launch the 2019 Portsmouth Pull event series run by Oarsome Chance, the youth development charity based in Gosport and Havant.

The row-of-a-lifetime takes participants on a lap of the historic naval harbour, starting and finishing at Oarsome Chance’s HQ at St Vincent College on the Gosport Peninsula and taking in Portsmouth’s most iconic landmarks including the Spinnaker Tower, Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory, Portchester Castle and Gosport’s Millennium Bridge.

The Portsmouth Pull events held in June and September last year had such overwhelmingly positive feedback from all involved that Oarsome Chance has decided to hold a series of Portsmouth Pulls each year, to offer this unique experience to more people and raise important funds to support the charity’s work with disadvantaged young people.

The 2019 Portsmouth Pull series will begin with an event on Saturday 18th May and will be followed by three more in July, September and November. By launching the series with all women teams, on International Women’s Day, Oarsome Chance wants to inspire more female participants to sign up, “The Portsmouth Pull is a fantastic experience for everyone, no matter what age or gender, as long as you’re over 16 you can take part,” said Oarsome Chance Principal, John Gillard.

At every event the fastest team will win a trophy, but this year it’s the top fundraisers who win the most glory, with a prize of a day’s sailing for the team who raises the most sponsorship at each event.

The 23-ft wooden skiffs that will go head to head on Portsmouth Harbour on Friday will be crewed by four female rowers and a cox, using four three-metre long oars to propel each of the boats. The skiffs – Little Warrior and Little Victory – were built in the Oarsome Chance workshop by young people on the organisation’s programmes.

“It will be a brilliant day’s racing on International Women’s Day with the two all-women teams going head to head. The Portsmouth Pull is proving to be incredibly popular and we already have teams signing up for the races coming up in 2019, which is fantastic, as these events help to raise money to support our vital work with local young people,” John Gillard, Oarsome Chance Principal, said.

Oarsome Chance brings change for disadvantaged young people using the powerful mediums of sport (coastal and dry rowing) and vocational training (boat building, carpentry and canvas skills). It focuses on young people aged from 9 through to 19 who are disengaged from mainstream education and at risk of exclusion. Oarsome Chance has been appointed by local authority and local schools to work with these young people, who come from some of England’s most deprived areas.

To find out more and to register for one of the limited Portsmouth Pull team slots, contact or visit