SIMON FLIES TO FACE SEA DANGER
|BY SUE WHITE||
11:00 - 06 February 2003
|Rower Simon Chalk will fly to Australia today to start his second attempt to cross the Indian Ocean.
Simon's first bid nearly ended in death when his boat capsized and he spent 15 hours, battered and bleeding, clinging to an upturned hull in shark infested waters. But the blood chilling experience did not deter 30-year-old Simon, of Newton Abbot, from having another go at securing four new world records.
He and his partner Rob Munslow, 24, of Monmouth, Wales, want to be:-
The first double-handed rowers across the Indian Ocean.
The first Britons to row the Indian Ocean.
The youngest to row the Indian Ocean.
The fastest rowers across the Indian Ocean.
Simon is full of confidence that he and Rob will be successful.
"I've got every confidence we will succeed," he said just before leaving home yesterday.
The record breaking attempt has been brought forward because of competition from another team with its sights set on the records.
Now, after two months of secret preparations, it's all systems go.
Simon said his last attempt was scuppered when the boat hit something in the water, which he said was "just very bad luck".
He added: "We are hoping to start our attempt in late February, depending on the weather."
Simon and Robert will set off from Kalbarri in Western Australia in their new 24ft Challenger boat called True Spirit and aim to reach Reunion Island off Madagascar in time to beat the 64-day record set more than 30 years ago.
Property developer Simon, who has rowed the Atlantic, and his former partner, Bill Greaves, were lucky to be alive after the first attempt last May ended so dramatically after only two days at sea.
They could have been struck by a whale and the boat overturned, leaving them clinging to the hull. They were eventually picked up by a bulk carrier and airlifted back to Australia.