Rowers at the ready for 3,200-mile charity crossing
This unique rowing boat has been launched ahead of a gruelling Atlantic challenge from New York to the tip of the Cornish peninsula.
Elliott Dale, 53, and Chris Walters, 54, from Lyme Regis will row more than 3,000 miles in less than two months from Manhattan to the Isles of Scilly in a bid to break a world record.
"It will probably be more of a mental challenge than a physical one. We will be looking at nothing but water for day after day," said Mr Dale.
They will row 3,246 miles from Manhattan, New York to St Mary's Harbour, Isles of Scilly, in an attempt to break the transatlantic 'two men in a boat' record of 55 days. The Precious Lives Atlantic Challenge in June 2014 is being undertaken to raise at least half a million pounds for Children's Hospice South West.
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Alana Marie Smith, the charity's fundraising director, said: "Rowing the Atlantic Ocean has to be one of the most daring and exhilarating challenges any of our supporters has undertaken for us and is exceptionally courageous."
The Cornish Pilot Gig Association ocean rowers will experience a pattern of sleep – two hours on and two hours off – similar to that of the charity's families during the daily care of their life-limited children. Mr Dale said: "We will have to prepare both physically and mentally. We will spend many hours in a small boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean but when we're at a low point we will think back to the families and the children and what we're enduring is nothing in comparison."
The duo and two friends from the Dorset town – with a combined age of 226 years – completed the 3,000-mile ocean row from Canary Island La Gomera to Barbados in 48 days, in 2011/2012. Tony Short, who turned 67 during the crossing, is the oldest man to have rowed the Atlantic. Charlie Pitcher, who broke the Guinness World Record in March for the fastest solo crossing of the Atlantic in a rowing boat, said: "Anyone that rows an ocean has my utmost respect, but to go out there a second time to chase an historic record for such a worthy cause demands more than this."
The Dorset pair are also taking inspiration from Norwegians Frank Samuelson and George Harbo who set the two-man crossing record back in 1896, which has never been bettered.