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


That rowing race


Whilst the Australian and New Zealand teams are battling it out for the lead, Tenerife's intrepid rowers Pedro Ripol and Francisco (Pancho) Korff in Canary Island boat “Martha II” are doing extremely well and one third of the way. At time of going to press they are in 13th position.

450 miles out in the Atlantic.
Team 21 Martha II; Pedro sporting his new haircut

During the week there was a nasty scare when solar tracking showed Martha II off the coast of Africa. Urgent phone calls at 2.a.m. to The Challenge Business in England reassured everyone that because of dense cloud cover for three days, their solar panels were unable to charge the batteries. Pedro and Pancho had closed down their communication systems to conserve power. For those who want to follow the trials and tribulations of the teams, the best site is
At press date Team 11 in Freedom, (Australians Paul McCarthy and Patrick Weinrauch, both doctors,) were in the lead, with Team 1 Telecom Challenge 1 close behind. This was the boat which, rowed by Rob Hammill and Phil Stubbs, came first in 1997. Rob was unable to row this time due to breaking a bone in his hand after going to the rescue of a lady who was being attacked in Los Gigantes. He had desperately wanted to break his record and his reserve was flown out from New Zealand at the 11th. hour.
The New Zealand team, Team 25 in Telecom Challenge 25 is in 3rd place, and is the only all woman team. Team 7 Dartmothian retired on the 14th October and was burnt at sea as a potential shipping hazard, to comply with maritime regulations. Team 2 Spirit of Worcestershire is continuing with 1 rower Richard Wood, and at the time of going to press Team 35 Euskadi from the Basque Country should be back rowing after repairs in El Hierro. Phil Scantlebury has joined forces with Norman Butler who lost his partner. Phil, a professional rower who did a tremendous amount of work and training with Pedro and Pancho, came out to see the start of the race and when he learnt that Norman was in La Gomera intent on rowing to Barbados alone, went over to see if there was a chance of joining him. They got on well and left together on the 8th. October, and are catching up fast. Good Luck to them. Russian rower Theadore Rezvoy set out from La Gomera to row alone on the 12th. October


Paul trying out his bucket for size

Martha's Shed
Charity Amigos de Tenerife (Friends of Tenerife), in collaboration with Atlántico a Remo, managed to get permission at the last minute to mount a kiosk just outside the harbour gates at Playa San Juan. Dorada, one of the main sponsors of “Martha II”, donated the kiosk which was instantly named by one of the rowers as “Martha's Shed”. Dorada also donated the beer and water.
“Marthas Shed” became a meeting point for all rowers, their families, supporters, and anyone else looking for advice and help, from sandwiches to taxis, and even where to buy toothpicks! Items surplus to requirements by rowers ended up in Martha's Shed, and were sold on to other rowers who were short. Even three bicycles which the Americans brought with them to use prior to the start of the race, were sold there. Thanks to all the very willing helpers who sold T-shirts, hats, toy dolphins, and made sandwiches till they were sick of ham and cheese, over 600,000 pesetas was raised for the Asociación San Lazaro.
Very soon all the fereterias in the area sold out of buckets, a very important piece of equipment for the boats. A helper was despatched to find buckets further a-field.

Patrick and Paul from Team Freedom

Patrick and Paul, Team 11 Freedom were Martha’s Shed’s best customers, coming everyday for something or another. They never took their change, it was always put in the collecting box.
Catamaran “Mustcat” was chartered by the Amigos de Tenerife for the Asociación San Lazaro, About 12 children with their parents had a wonderful time seeing the start of the race close up as well as the whales and dolphins. They were thrilled to see their boat “Martha II”, which is raising money for their centre, set off on the big adventure, crossing the Atlantic
Friday 26th October to Thursday 8th November 2001

Online Issue No: 185

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