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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 June 2006, 01:12 GMT 02:12 UK
UK commandos aim to row Atlantic
By Matt Wells
BBC News, New York

The commandos training to row the Atlantic (image courtesy Team Hesco)
The men have spent over two years in training (Image courtesy Team Hesco)
Four British army commandos are aiming to become the first team ever to row across the Atlantic from the American mainland to the UK mainland.

They are one of four teams competing in an elite rowing race set to take more than two months to complete, a distance of 3,100 nautical miles (5,741 km).

The race will begin in New York on Saturday. The destination is the UK town of Falmouth on the Cornish coast.

The rowers will have no support as they make their perilous journey.

The commando team are aiming to break the trans-Atlantic rowing record of 55 days, but that 110-year-old record was set by two Norwegians who rowed from New York only as far as the Isles of Scilly.


The Shepherd Ocean Four's race is not for the faint-hearted.

Cramped together in their 9m (30ft) boat, the commando team are aiming to cover 100km (60 miles) a day in two-man shifts each lasting two hours.

The men are taking part to raise money for the Meningitis Trust charity.

One of the team members, Maj Pete Rowlands, lost his son to meningitis three years ago.

Although they will not be accepting help from passing ships unless there is a life-threatening emergency, they will be kitted out with satellite phones and global positioning receivers.

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