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Last Updated: Friday, 20 January 2006, 11:01 GMT
Fogle and Cracknell in race scare
Ben Fogle and James Cracknell

Olympic champion James Cracknell and TV presenter Ben Fogle survived a terrifying capsize en route to third place in the Atlantic Rowing Race.

Fogle swam back to the boat after a giant wave threw him overboard, an event he described as "the scariest experience of my life".

The pair finished the 2,931-mile (4,717km) course in 49 days, 19 hours and eight minutes.

The journey took them from the Canary Islands to Antigua.

Twenty-six teams set out on the race on 30 November.

Cracknell and Fogle rowed 24 hours a day, in alternating two-hour shifts.

They came first in the pairs class, only beaten overall by two crews of four.

I basically found myself bobbing up and down in a sea with waves bigger than houses
Ben Fogle
The pair had got a lot of press attention prior to the race when they explained they would have to row naked to avoid chafing from clothing, and after the race Fogle told BBC Breakfast: "The area of the body that is affected the most is the bottom.

"Both James and I are walking around everywhere with a special pillow for everywhere that we sit."

'Rogue wave'

Their capsize occurred about 700 miles from the finish.

"An enormous rogue wave caught the back of the boat and flipped us upside down," said Fogle.

"I basically found myself bobbing up and down in a sea with waves bigger than houses."

The capsize also saw Cracknell awake upside down in the tiny cabin of the boat, Spirit of EDF Energy.

The first-placed crew, from Devon and in a boat called All Relative, set a world record time of 39 days and 3.32 hours when they finished on 8 January.

Atlantic 4 finished five hours ahead of Cracknell and Fogle in 49 days, 14 hours and 21 minutes.

James Cracknell won Olympic gold medals in the coxless fours rowing in Athens in 2004 and Sydney four years earlier.

Ben Fogle and James Cracknell took part in the race to raise money for BBC Children in Need. To donate see:

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