DARTMOUTH-BASED TV presenter Monty Halls has described his 'monumental scrap' with the sea as he and Brixham fisherman's daughter and lifeboat crew volunteer Rachel Cole attempted a record breaking row in aid of the RNLI.
The two set out on the Grace Darling Memorial Row from Dartmouth to the Eddystone and back but had to turn around just nine miles short of the lighthouse when the conditions got the better of them.
The row, which has never been attempted before by a two-person crew, was timed to coincide with the 175th anniversary of the rescue from the paddle steamer SS Forfarshire by William and Grace Darling.
Monty (pictured) and Rachel were determined to mark the event in their own way and raise money for the RNLI.
Monty explained: "The conditions were lively to say the least, with a force five wind that was right on our nose. We took a real battering rowing into it and we worked hard for every mile.
"We were battling all the way, it was a monumental scrap. We got so close to the lighthouse, within nine miles, but we just got beaten back and had to turn around and row home.
"We were both bitterly disappointed not to get to the Eddystone Lighthouse but we had to think about our safety and that of the boat and we certainly didn't want to be calling out the very charity we were raising money for.
"However, we did row 70 miles in total and in challenging conditions so we didn't do too badly.
"Rachel was a complete trooper and didn't utter a single word of complaint.
"She'd never done anything like this before which makes it all the more amazing she hung on in there despite the battering we took. I told her mum afterward that she is made of iron."