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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 February 2007, 09:00 GMT
Rowing pair finish Atlantic trip
Ed Bayliss and Steve Turbull arrive in Antiqua
The pair said they were looking forward to a bath and food
Two novice rowers who ran out of food on a 3,000 mile (4,827km) fund-raising trip across the Atlantic have completed their journey.

Stuart Turnbull, of Swindon, and Edward Baylis, of Wimborne in Dorset, arrived in Antigua on Wednesday night.

The unsupported trip in a 24ft (7.3m) plywood boat took 63 days, 12 hours and 46 seconds to complete.

The 26-year-olds were saved from starvation during the voyage by some nearby Dutch rowers who gave them food.

Mr Turnbull said the pair had been looking forward to a bath and dreaming about food.

'Life-changing'

"It was just a real boys' own time out there, life changing," he said.

"The storms blew up with waves the size of houses, which we had for weeks and we just had to get on with it.

"There's no way out. You are stuck in the middle of it and it's up to your initiative, your guts, your resilience and doggedness to do the job in hand and save your skin."

Mr Turnbull, a trainee military medic, and Mr Baylis, who runs his own health food business, set off from La Gomera in the Canaries on 20 December last year.

Atlantic rowing map

The inexperienced rowers packed lightly hoping to break the world record by crossing the Atlantic unsupported in under 40 days, five hours and 31 minutes.

But 40ft waves and treacherous weather foiled their plans and they found themselves surviving on starvation rations eating just 1,100 calories a day but burning up about 7,000.

At one point they were examining toothpaste and seaweed for its nutritional content in a desperate bid to keep rowing.

The Ocean Rowing Society arranged a life-saving rendezvous with a pair of Dutch rowers on Valentine's Day when they ate a feast of chicken satay, rice, mashed potatoes and cookies.

After replenishing their energy, the pair restocked their supplies and continued their journey, which has raised more than 200,000 for Cancer Research UK.

The pair were following in the footsteps of double Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell and Ben Fogle, a television wildlife presenter.

They took 51 days to travel from La Gomera in the Canary Isles, arriving in Antigua in the West Indies in January last year, raising thousands for charity.


SEE ALSO
'Rookie rowers' close to finish
21 Feb 07 |  Wiltshire
Hungry rowers fed by Dutch seamen
16 Feb 07 |  Wiltshire

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