British oarsmen today reached the halfway point in their attempt to
smash the 108-year-old transatlantic rowing record.
Since setting off from Newfoundland, Canada, 23 days ago, the rowers
have braved heavy storms, mountain-sized icebergs and sub-zero winds in
their high-tech vessel Pink Lady.
The team, led by 40-year-old skipper Mark Stubbs, a firefighter from
Poole, Dorset, must cross the finish line off the Isles of Scilly by
August 23 to break the Atlantic crossing record of 55 days.
The other rowers are Times journalist Jonathan Gornall, 48, of London;
digital mapping specialist John Wills, 33, of Elstead, near Godalming,
Surrey; and ex-SAS diver Pete Bray, 48, of South Wales.
They celebrated completing more than half of their 2,100-mile journey
with a breakfast of porridge and apples, washed down with Newfoundland
Screech rum donated by Canadian supporters.
Mr Stubbs said team morale was “sky-high”, boosted by good weather and
the sight of tuna and dolphins leaping close to the boat.
The team, who all have extensive Atlantic Ocean rowing experience, are
rowing virtually non-stop in pairs for two hours at a time.
The current east-west transatlantic rowing record was set in 1896 by two
Norwegian fishermen and was equalled 17 years ago by Briton Tom McClean.
The rowers are sponsored by Pink Lady apples, and are hoping to raise
£50,000 for the British Heart Foundation.