Atlantic Challenge rowing team sets off after race start delayed by bad weather

This Is Lancashire: The team brave the rainy Spanish weather, from left, Finn Christo, Mark Brocklehurst, Nick Griffiths and Matt Nuttall The team brave the rainy Spanish weather, from left, Finn Christo, Mark Brocklehurst, Nick Griffiths and Matt Nuttall

BOLTON’S Atlantic Challenge rowing team has set off after delays caused by bad weather.

The four team members had to wait to begin their gruelling journey across the Atlantic Ocean after rain and strong winds delayed the start of the race, but they got underway this morning.

The team, made up of Mark Brocklehurst, aged 52, Matt Nuttall, aged 44, Nick Griffiths, aged 42 and 32-year-old Finn Christo have been named among the favourites for the race.

They will take on 15 other teams on the route from the starting point in the Spanish port of San Sebastian de la Gomera to the Caribbean island of Antigua.

Depending on weather, the men could end up rowing a 3,000-mile course.

Speaking from their Spanish base before they set off, Mr Brocklehurst said: “The delay is not ideal as we are all ready but the decision is based on getting a three day weather window so we don’t get blown back on to land.

"The rain and direction of the wind could push us back to the port and would be particularly difficult for the boats that just have single rowers in them.”

Mr Brocklehurst could not reveal the exact route that the team will take during the race as it is a “closely guarded secret”.

He added: “Because of the curvature of the Earth, the point to point route is not actually the fastest so we will be travelling in a sort of reverse banana shape.

"We have a man in Bolton who will be communicating with us about our weather strategy, which is important because we could miss the finish line and end up in Venezuela, which would not be good.”

The Bolton News will be in regular contact with the team and providing updates on their progress across the Atlantic.

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