Yorkshire-based team Row4Victory reached the half way point of their gruelling 3,000 nautical mile race across the Atlantic Ocean on New Year’s Day.
Described as “the World’s toughest endurance race”, the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge started at La Gomera in the Canary Islands on December 12 - the team are on track to reach the finish line at English Harbour in Antigua before the end of January.
Team Row4Victory consists of four determined friends from North Yorkshire: Duncan Roy, former Royal Engineer from Ingleby Arncliffe; Fraser Mowlem, serving Chief Technician in the Royal Air Force from Linton-On-Ouse; Glyn Sadler, former Royal Marine from Borrowby and Will Quarmby, a landscape gardener from Ripon.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing for the Yorkshire four. They have been faced with adverse weather conditions, giant waves, sea sickness and some technical issues with the boat, even injuries - Duncan was stung by a jellyfish when cleaning the hull of the boat, and Fraser suffered an intense shin injury through over-use, which resulted in him having six days of complete rest from rowing.
Fraser took over all other jobs during his recovery days, keeping the others fed and watered, the boat ship shape and clean and running the navigation. He’s now made a steady, phased return to the oars and all is well, with the foursome now back to rowing in pairs, two hours on and two hours off, around the clock.
Will Quarmby said: “We are no longer beginning this challenge but finishing. We dare to start counting down the days and miles rather than up.
“We are no longer getting further away from our loved ones but closer. When you think you’ve given your all you can find reserves in new depths to think your now going home and back to family and friends.”
Sir Gary Verity DL, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “It’s been an immense challenge for Fraser, Will, Duncan and Glyn so far, but they’re in a great position and we couldn’t be prouder of them.
“After being faced with various issues during the race so far, they’re proving what a great team they are, pulling together in true Yorkshire-style to get the job done and home to their families.”
The team reached the 1,000-mile mark (a third of the race) on Christmas Day, which was described by Fraser as the best present they could hope for.
“We all took ten minutes off from the oars to share a mince pie, open our Secret Santa gifts and make phone calls home to our children, wives, girlfriends and families.”
Row4Victory are taking part in the challenge in aid of two military charities: The Royal British Legion and Soldier On! - in December, they raised over £4,000.
Will added: “Every donation is fed back to us and we’re continually blown away by the unwavering generosity of the people who hear about what we’re doing for the Royal British Legion and Soldier On! and feel moved to contribute.
“What we’re going through is insignificant compared to the pain, trauma and loss felt by some of the people these two incredible charities help every day of the year.”
Support Row4Victory by sponsoring or donating via www.row4victory.com/donate or by texting 70070 with the code ROWV59 followed by £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10.