THE Bolton Atlantic Challenge crew are counting down the hours until they will be reunited with their loved ones — and are sending out a plea for last-minute donations.

Mark Brocklehurst, aged 52, Matt Nuttall, aged 44, Nick Griffiths, aged 42, and Finn Christo, aged 32, have been rowing the 3,000 miles across the Atlantic for more than seven weeks in the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge to raise £250,000 to aid a Junior Mentoring Project at Bolton Lads and Girls Club.

As well as seeing their family, the men are also looking forward to a well-earned chippy tea at Olympus Fish and Chip restaurant.

The team hit the 300 miles from Antigua mark on Monday and hope to arrive there by February 2.

Mr Brockleburst said: “We are counting down the hours now. We can’t control the weather but we are doing everything we can to keep going.

“We’ve been making good progress this week.

“There were a couple of days where the water was going one way and the waves were going the other, but we’re doing well at the moment “We were really relieved to reach the 300-mile mark — that felt fantastic.

“That means that we should hopefully be on solid ground by Sunday all being well, so this should be our last week.

“We want to get back to the UK as soon as we can after we finish because our families can’t come and meet us. It’s been one hell of a journey but it’s been worth it to raise the money for the club.

“We just hope that a few more donations will come in over the next week to help us reach our target.”

Talking of the offer of a slap up meal from Olympus, Mr Brockleburst added: “That’s great — we will all definitely be looking forward to that.

“We’re all eating a lot still but our snack packs filled with chocolate and sweets have run out. Towards the end we were trying to make a chocolate last a few days which is a challenge in itself, so a chippy tea would be fantastic.”

If you wish to donate, go to the team's page on