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Last Updated: Friday, 23 May, 2003, 16:50 GMT 17:50 UK
Ocean rower reveals new destination
Simon chalk
Simon Chalk has been rowing the Indian Ocean for 85 days
Strong winds have finally forced ocean rower Simon Chalk to change course.

Mr Chalk, from Newton Abbot in Devon, was aiming to row the Indian Ocean from Australia to Reunion Island.

But after 77 days at sea, he revealed the winds had been so strong that Madagascar was looking a more likely landing point at the end of his record-breaking row.

But he is now planning to aim for the islands of Coco and Albatross.

I don't have any proper charts and the reason for that is there aren't any, just a hand-drawn chart from 1820 or something
Simon Chalk

In the latest message on his website at BBC Devon Online, the 30-year-old explained said the new route would be far more manageable.

"We've decided to aim for the islands of Coco and Albatross," said Mr Chalk.

"That still means I need to get about 80 miles south from where I am now but it's manageable.

"Certainly more manageable than Reunion which is about 350 miles south."

Mr Chalk, who is on day 85 of his voyage, said he will run out of drinks on day 96 and will have to survive on water.

"But I'll just keep rowing right to the end," he said.

A fortnight away

He said the approach to the islands would be made more difficult due to the system of reefs surrounding them.

"I don't have any proper charts and the reason for that is there aren't any, just a hand-drawn chart from 1820 or something," he said.

Mr Chalk predicted he would not get excited until about the end of his challenge until around day 96.

"But that's only a fortnight away.

"I am going to be rowing my heart out as I approach Coco and Albatross."

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