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Tuesday, 2 July, 2002, 16:01 GMT 17:01 UK
Atlantic bid abandoned
The Skandia Atlantic Spirit
The crew of the Atlantic Spirit at the start
The Skandia Ocean Row team's record-attempt to shatter ocean-rowing records was abandoned on 2 July due to gear failure.

After having completed exactly half of their 2100-mile journey, the intrepid British foursome were forced to abandon their attempt to complete an ocean crossing in under 55 days.

Until their abandonment, the crew were still on target to beat this record by more than 10 days.

But the rudder, an integral part of the vessel that is used for steering, was damaged in a storm on 30 June.

After using spare parts kept on board the 30-foot rowing boat, the crew were initially successful in repairing the damage.

However, the force of the water on the weakened rudder was too much, and it broke again at 1400BST on 2 July.

The shore crew were immediately notified, and a recovery plan was set in motion to rescue the crew.

The crew were in no immediate danger and in constant communication with their shore crew.

The four-man team, led by Poole-based fire fighter Mark Stubbs, including George Rock (Teesside), Nigel Morris (Teesside) and Rob Munslow (Monmouth) set off from Newfoundland, Canada, on the 11 June and were aiming to be the first rowing boat ever to make landfall in Great Britain.

The current world record has stood for over 100 years, set by the two-man team of Harbo & Samuelson in 1896, in an 18-foot wooden whaler boat called the Richard K Fox.

It took them 55 days to arrive in the Isles of Scilly.

Their record was tied only by solo rower Tom McClean, who matched their time 90 years later in a boat called Skoll 1080.

The fastest-ever crossing of an ocean was captured by Le Mondial in 1987, which was rowed by 11 Frenchmen. They rowed East to West, from the Canary Islands to Martinique in just 35 days.

See also:

05 Oct 01 | Other Sports
01 Jun 01 | Other Sports
30 Jun 01 | Atlantic Challenge
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