‘Grandads Of The Atlantic’ Take On New Challenge In Veteran Support

The two former paratroopers set a rowing world record in 2019, but are now walking to raise funds.

Paratrooper veterans who became the oldest pair to complete an Atlantic row are making waves with a new fundraiser walk.

Neil Young and Peter Ketley, friends for 40 years, sailed 3,000 miles from the Canary Islands to the Island of Antigua in 2019 – still the oldest duo to complete the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

Now, raising money for the Royal British Legion Industries, they are tabbing five miles every day in January in a nod to those who served in Dunkirk.

“I’ve had five knee operations, so the knees feel it a bit – not normally when I’m walking, but it’s normally when I’m finished a few hours later and at night when I’m sort of hobbling down the stairs,” said Mr Young.

Neil Young is one half of the veteran duo dubbed the 'Grandads of the Atlantic'.

The Tommy Step challenge requires the pair to walk 155 miles, in the footsteps of First World War soldiers retreating from Dunkirk.

Mr Ketley’s father had been a member of the British Expeditionary Force during the period, offering even more motivation to take part.

“It’s got me fit, a lot fitter than I was in December, and we’ve raised a lot of money,” he said.

The pair are ambassadors for RBLI, which helps disabled and unemployed veterans return to work.

With a few days of the month remaining, the ‘Grandads of the Atlantic’ have raised more than £1,000 for the charity with their latest campaign.

Lisa Farmer, Director of Strategic Development at RBLI, said the challenge itself has proved an even broader success.

“We launched it just before Christmas. It’s gone phenomenally well and we’ve had over 2,000 people sign up and we’ve raised £80,000 on the challenge in January” she said.