The ORS Int. is the official adjudicator of ocean rowing records for Guinness World Records



11:00 - 12 April 2003
Newton Abbot's Simon Chalk is hoping the next cyclone will miss him.

Simon, who is in the middle of the Indian Ocean rowing solo to Reunion Island near Madagascar from the west coast of Australia, has just recovered from a cyclone which hit him a few days ago, but already weather experts are predicting there is another weather front coming in which is due to hit this weekend.

Simon, who set off from Kalbarri a month ago, had hoped the cyclone season would have finished by this time of year.

But weather experts are saying cyclones are still coming through and this year there has been a record number of them in the area.

Simon's dad, Roger, said: "The cyclone season should have finished a month ago, but our weather screens show there is one off Madagascar and another one forming.

"We've done a check of the boat and made a list of the provisions. We're watching this one and hoping it will miss him, though he is in the path of it.

"He's had the weather against him all the time, every mile has been a clawed mile. He wants to track back to the south and west but is being pushed north by currents and winds."

Simon is also suffering because of the war as his satellite phone, his main source of communication with the outside world is not working properly due to the satellite space being taken up reporting back from Iraq.

Roger said: "He can phone America and Australia but not the UK."

In his regular diary update, Simon said: "I've got sixty-three full days of food left. Sixty-six days of gas. Thirty-five days of water without the water-maker, and fifty-five days of tea and coffee. I can't run out of tea. It can't be a British expedition without tea."

He added: "If I can get through the next four days and this low pressure to the north doesn't blow up into a cyclone, it could be the catapult that sets me off."