FOUR intrepid rowers from South Warwickshire are training to row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean.
The mixed crew, dubbed The Brightsides, is made up of Rod Adlington, 56, Imogen Yeoman, 48, Patrick Lamb, 45, and Duncan Nealon, 44, who will row from Tenerife to Barbados, non-stop in January 2024 .
With preparations and training well advanced, the crew hope to challenge the Guinness World Record for the fastest mixed-crew crossing, which currently stands at 40 days, 23 hours and 57 minutes.
While the majority of the team are new to ocean rowing, the Brightsides have a unique and eclectic skill set that Rod says sets them up well ahead of their challenge.
He said: “I’ve spent a huge amount of time on the ocean and spent two years working as a yacht skipper for Sunsail so I have experience working with the seas. Immy learned to row in Salcombe at a young age and later competed in the Isles of Scilly Gig Racing World Championships. She is also a successful two-time Ironman competitor.
“Pat is an extremely powerful rower and recently completed a 100km time trial on a Concept2 rower. Duncan, on the other hand, is a veteran of endurance events, having run several marathons and ultra-marathons, as well as the legendary Marathon Des Sables, through the Sahara desert.
“Team collective is at the heart of everything we try to achieve, and we really feel that together we have a very strong team to take on the Atlantic Ocean.”
The challenge will see the crew rowing non-stop, 24 hours a day, with a two-hour, two-hour-off shift pattern, for approximately six weeks. They will live on freeze-dried rations and sea water purified via a desalination machine. The four will sleep in tiny cabins at either end of their specialist Rannoch R45 rowing boat, named Mrs. Nelson.
Each crew member has their own individual motivations, but a strong sense of “seizing the moment” unites the crew.
Duncan said: “I think all four of us have had experiences in our lives that made us realize the importance of having the courage to pursue our dreams. Many people have asked us “why? and I think we all gave the same answer of ‘why not?’
“And likewise, if not now, then when?” And if not us, then who? This is where our slogan “Dream With Your Eyes Wide Open” comes from.
Crew training includes hours spent in the gymnasium and on rowing machines, monthly weekends at sea in Devon, as well as essential educational courses such as sea survival and medical training.
The Brightsides are rowing to raise money for four different charities – Cancer Research, Get-A-Head, Meningitis Now and The RNLI.
To learn more about The Brightsides Atlantic Challenge, visit www.thebrightsides.com
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