Rough Christmas for Atlantic rowers
THE Bolton Atlantic Challenge crew have had a tough festive period because of high winds.
And the only thing they want for New Year is some sun and hot water.
The team, made up of Mark Brocklehurst, aged 52, Matt Nuttall, aged 44, Nick Griffiths, aged 42, and Finn Christo, aged 32, are hoping for some calm days so they can re-charge the solar powered boat — and give them time to carry out essential repairs.
They are racing against 17 other teams from around the world in the 3,000-mile Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge to raise £250,000 to aid a Junior Mentoring Project for Bolton Lads and Girls Club.
It is a charity race across the Atlantic and the team took to the seas for an estimated seven-week voyage to Antigua earlier this month.
Mr Brocklehurst said: “We have made steady progress. We have done 750 miles so far so we are looking forward to reaching the 1,000 mile mark.
“It’s been a rough since last week, constantly with strong 25 knot winds. We were struggling with power because we are solar powered and we haven’t seen that much sun, which means we can’t do simple things like boil water. Thankfully we have had a little sun so we have had time to recharge a little and it also helped lift our spirits. We need a calm day to carry out some repairs to the boat. So far bits are being held together with tie racks and gaffa tape.
“We’re also pretty desperate to send someone to scrape all the algae and barnacles from the boat. That’s slowing us down about 12mph a day. We have some special paint, which is supposed to stop algae attaching to the boat but that fell off.”
The last week has been a difficult time for the crew, who have only spoken to their loved ones once since they started their epic challenge.
Mr Brocklehurst said: “It’s very hard. I’m shattered and I know the others are. It’s hard to keep motivating yourself but as I said last week, routine is our friend and we do everything we can to keep each other going.
“I’ve had a bad shift — the last two hours have been really hard but a motivational pat on the back from one of the lads really helps keep you going. We bounce off each other which is really valuable.”
Track the team’s progress online at taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com.
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