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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 June, 2003, 08:21 GMT 09:21 UK
Rower targets new destination
Simon Chalk
Simon Chalk has been rowing the Indian Ocean for 94 days
A rower aiming to cross the Indian Ocean has been forced to change his final destination again after taking a battering from storms.

Simon Chalk, from Newton Abbot, Devon, was aiming to row from Australia to Reunion island, south of India.

Bad weather took him so far north that Madagascar or the islands of Coco and Albatross became more feasible targets for his landing.

But, after 94 days at sea covering more than 3,000 miles, he is now aiming for Raphael Island.

In the latest message on his website at BBC Devon Online, Mr Chalk said Raphael Island had not been an option before as he was not far enough south.

"But now I am tracking south quite effectively so it is looking a better destination," said the 30-year-old.

Simon chalk
Simon Chalk believes he could soon reach his destination
"It is in the same group of islands as Albatross and has a population of about 800.

"They do pearl farming there. It sounds really nice and I may just stay there and not go home!"

Mr Chalk said the storms had been quite welcome after six or seven days of light winds.

"I'm really moving now. I think I did 48 miles yesterday and more today, so everything is really positive."

Mr Chalk is so buoyed by his experiences that he says he already has an idea for his next expedition.

Epic journey

But he is refusing to reveal the details until he returns to the UK.

With about 450 nautical miles still to go, Mr Chalk believes his epic journey could be over within nine to 15 days.

"The end is in sight and that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up," he said.

"But I don't want to think like that because I need to keep going.

"It's not over until you're safely on shore. There's no room for complacency."

Rower blown badly off course
15 May 03  |  Devon
Rower under a cloud
28 Apr 03  |  Devon
Ocean rower's boat in danger
24 Apr 03  |  Devon
Storm speeds ocean rower
18 Mar 03  |  England


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