Blandford adventurer celebrates his birthday on the high seas

Dorset Echo: INTREPID TRAVELLERS: The team sets off INTREPID TRAVELLERS: The team sets off

AN intrepid adventurer spent his birthday battling waves the size of houses.

Fergus Scholes is taking part in the gruelling ocean endurance race – The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. Fergus, from Blandford, set off on December 4 in just a seven-metre rowing boat in attempt to break the race record in a contest against 16 teams from around the world.

Within days the Atlantic Polo Team were faced with horrific conditions of 30 knot winds and waves the size of houses and had to lock themselves in the boat’s tiny airtight cabin to survive.

Fergus celebrated his 31st birthday 292 miles into his 3,000 mile rowing endurance race and is lucky to have come out the other end of the storm in one piece.

He was battered around in the specially made rowing boat with the former Captain of the England Polo Team Henry Brett and professional polo players James Glasson and Bobby Melville.

The rowing challenge is raising money for working equines on behalf of the Brooke, who want to reach two million working horses by 2016, and children in both the UK and disadvantaged countries on behalf of Hilton in the Community Foundation and Right To Play.

Fergus said: “It is such a privilege to be over one thousand miles from the nearest land and so connected to nature.

“The remoteness, the beauty, the harsh elements – a truly awesome adventure.”

The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge takes place every two years.

Fergus held the title of National School’s Champion, rowing at Henley for three years and was the Schools' Head of River Race champion amongst other achievements and is looking forward to picking up the oars again for this coveted challenge and helping his team get to the finish line, which could take anywhere between 36 and 60 days.

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