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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 November, 2003, 12:30 GMT
Disabled man starts Atlantic row
Atlantic rower
Stuart Boreham, who has cerebral palsy, will be rowing 3,000 miles
A man with cerebral palsy is attempting to become the first physically disabled person to row across the Atlantic unassisted.

Stuart Boreham, 37, who lives in Milton Keynes, says he is determined his disability will not stop him from completing the 3,000-mile trip.

Mr Boreham left La Gomera in the Canary Islands to row to Barbados in the Caribbean.

The journey is expected to take 80 to 90 days.

He says conditions are on board his 24-foot purpose-built rowing boat MacMillan Spirit are cramped, so he does not expect to be getting much sleep.

Because the rowing boat is so small, a large tanker might not see me in the water
Stuart Boreham
"Probably no more than an hour because I am on my own and I do have a responsibility to look out for shipping and so forth," he said.

"Because the rowing boat is so small a large tanker might not see me in the water, although I should be able to sleep for several periods of an hour at a time at night."

The Clerical Medical investment manager has had several operations on his legs and feet to improve his ability to walk since his cerebral palsy was diagnosed as a child.

He hopes his Atlantic challenge will raise at least 25,000 for Macmillan Cancer Relief, to fund a nurse for a year.

Documentary team

Mr Boreham was inspired to tackle the 3,000-mile row after doing the 1996/97 BT Global Challenge round the world yacht race.

"I was able to help to generate a momentum to show both able-bodied and disabled people alike that having a disability didn't mean you couldn't achieve something in your life."

He chose to try to row the Atlantic when he realised no-one with a physical disability had rowed an ocean unassisted before.

His progress will be followed by a BBC documentary team and updates will be posted on his website.

The BBC's Nick Thatcher
"He'll have to row at least 32 miles every day"

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