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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 March, 2005, 12:13 GMT
Maiden voyage for Atlantic rowers
The boat being prepared
This will be the first time the boat has taken to the water
Four men hoping to row 2,800-miles across the Atlantic will launch their boat in the Humber on Sunday.

The crew, which includes Pete Rowlands and Mark Waterson from Long Riston in East Yorkshire, are taking part in the Woodvale Ocean Fours Race.

The race starts in June 2006 in New York and finishes off Cornwall.

This will be the first time the four men, who are serving or former Army commandos, will have been in their specially-designed boat.

Meningitis death

The team , who call themselves Commando Joe, took delivery of the 29-foot boat in January and since then have been fitting out the craft and painting it.

They hope the trip, for which the record is 55 days, will raise money for the Meningitis Trust.

Mr Rowlands' 16-year-old son Gareth died from meningitis in 2003.

"What the trust did for me, my wife Helen and daughter Sian after Gareth's death was nothing short of amazing, " said Mr Rowlands who is the team captain.

"Sadly, it is something they're good at because meningitis continues to claim lives."

The two men from East Yorkshire will be joined in the boat by Charlie Martell from Gloucestershire and Ben Fouracre from Wiltshire.

Rowers close in on record
24 Feb 04 |  Devon

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