TWO West Dorset rowers are gearing up for their world record attempt of rowing across the Atlantic in less than two months.
Elliot Dale, 54, and Chris Walters, 55, from Lyme Regis Gig Club, will try and row 3,246 miles across the Atlantic from New York to the Isles of Scilly in less than 55 days to raise money for the Children’s Hospice South West.
The pair will undertake the gruelling challenge in their Row4PreciousLives boat and officially launched the boat at a ceremony in Plymouth recently.
They are now stepping up their training and fundraising efforts as the start date, June 6, edges ever nearer.
Elliot Dale said: “The training has been going all right. We haven’t been able to get out on the water as much as we would like because of the weather but we are starting to get out more as the weather improves. We get out about four or five times a week, which are hour-long sessions. These long-distance endurance rows are very difficult to train for.
“We are just getting out on the water rowing and it’s a question of building up our stamina.”
The current record for crossing the ocean is 55 days and was set by two Norwegian rowers in 1896.
Only one other team of two rowers has since completed the crossing by the same route.
The Lyme pair have set a fundraising target of £300,000 by the time they finish their mission and will donate all of the funds to Children’s Hospice South West.
Mr Dale said he and Mr Walters were both confident they will complete the task.
He added: “There is no point in starting something like this if you think you can’t do it.
“We have had a lot of support from the people of Lyme Regis, the rest of the country and even as far as the Netherlands. The hospice costs so much to run each year and it really is a fantastic cause.”
Alana Marie Smith, director of fundraising for Children’s Hospice South West said: “There is no underestimating the challenge Chris and Elliott are taking on, and it is incredible that they have chosen Children’s Hospice South West as the charity to benefit. “They will experience extreme conditions and will be required to row continually during the day. We want to wish them all the very best of luck and perfect weather conditions to bring them home safe.”
For more information on the challenge or to donate visit chsw.org.uk and follow the fundraising links.