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4 December 2013, 09:24
A Winchester man is setting off today on a 3,000 mile rowing challenge for charity.
Will North from Shwaford (pictured left) and Dan Howie (Team Atlantic Row 2013) will leave the shores of La Gomera in the Canary Islands today (Wednesday 4 December) and row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean to English Harbour, Antigua as part of The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.
The gruelling race will consist of a 24 hour a day rowing schedule, each completing alternate two hour shifts until the 3,000 mile course is complete. Alongside the demanding day-to-day rowing, both team members will battle a series of testing circumstances such as waves reaching up to 50ft, the dangers of rowing a major shipping lane, deadly marine life, physical exhaustion and sleep deprivation.
The motivation behind this task is driven by inspirational people in both Will and Dan's lives and the crew are currently seeking corporate sponsors to join the campaign and help fund Team Atlantic Row 2013. As a result, the crew will aim to raise over £200,000 for Cancer Research, Leukaemia and Lymphoma and St. Anna's.
In 2006, Will's father was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and in 2009, Dan's father was diagnosed with prostate cancer. 2011 saw the sudden and tragic death of friend Gareth Crockett who was undergoing a challenge to raise money in memory of a friend who he lost to Leukaemia. Finally, Will and Dan look to the future to support small charity St Anna's in their plight to house and school underprivileged children in Ghana.
2006 Atlantic rowers James Cracknell and Ben Fogle have been two of the team's biggest supporters to date. Donating their 'Spirit of EDF' boat to the team for promotional use, they hope that Will and Dan can not only follow in their footsteps but also beat the other boats to the finish line in English Harbour.
Olympic Gold Medallist and Adventurer James Cracknell said:
"I know first-hand how hard this challenge is and I wish the boys every success in their crossing."
The race, which includes 17 teams from countries including Great Britain, Sweden, and Australia, was scheduled to start on Monday (2 December) but was postponed due to bad weather.