Atlantic Challenge: Rowers to take on 3,000-mile race

Rowers set for 3,000-mile race

A team of East Anglian rowers have started their preparation to enter the 3,000-mile Atlantic Challenge in 2015.

Jack Mayhew, 25, (Suffolk), Angus Collins, 25, (Essex), Joe Barnett, 24, (Essex) and Gus Barton, 24, (Norfolk) will spend at least a month rowing from the Canary Islands to Antigua.

"Angus and I spoke about it over a year ago. We got the crazy idea in our head," Mayhew told BBC Look East.

"After a couple of pints, we spoke to the other two, and here we are."

Billed as the toughest race on earth, more people have been into space or climbed Everest than have rowed across the Atlantic.

Atlantic Challenge
More than 3,000 nautical miles from La Gomera to AntiguaBoats are approximately 7.5 meters long and 1.8 meters wide
On average teams complete the race in 60 daysUp to 30 teams compete

Each rower in the team will generally switch between two hours of rowing and two hours of sleep for the duration of the race, which on average is completed in 60 days.

The Ocean Reunion team can expect to face 50ft waves, hurricane strength winds and 40 degrees of heat when they start the race in December of next year.

"It does seem like we're crazy. It's something that when it was mentioned I couldn't stop thinking about," said Barton. "It's a race and we're keen to win it."

Collins' uncle Charlie Pitcher holds the record for a solo rower across the Atlantic, completing it in 35 days, and he has helped with constructing the boat and preparation.

Earlier in the year Collins was part of a team that rowed across the Indian Ocean.

"You go through some weird experiences when you're not sleeping or eating well," he said.

"Knowing that now, I'm really excited about the Atlantic and I know what I'm getting myself into."

Barnett added: "It's a good job we all know each other very well. But I think when you're out there - two hours on and two hours off - you just get on with it."

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