A TEAM racing
across the Atlantic in a rowing boat have no idea they are sailing
into "hellish" weather conditions, their worried support team said
Team Hesco's satellite phone went down weeks ago and they have only
managed to communicate with their shore team via passing ships.
The four-man crew – which includes Yorkshiremen Captain Pete
Rowlands, of Long Riston, in East Yorkshire, and neighbour Captain
Mark Waterson – even delivered one message home via the Queen
Mary on her New York run.
But now they are rowing into gale force winds and rough seas, with
waves up to 20ft high, on their final approach to Falmouth.
To make matters worse the race is now without its support vessel,
which had to go in to Newlyn, in Cornwall, for repairs.
Campaign manager Adrian Bell, who is the brother-in-law of mine
disposal expert Charlie Martell, of Gloucestershire, the third man
aboard, told the Yorkshire Post: "It's going to be hell because of
gale force winds and rough seas. They are all being held up by the
"It's difficult at the moment as we've had no direct communications
for six weeks because the satellite phone has broken.
"We are in a bit of a tricky situation as the race organiser has
recalled the support boat, which we are obviously not very happy
"It is a concern that we are not able to speak to them and because
they don't have communications they don't know this weather is coming.
We are working to try and contact other passing shipping to get a
message to them."
Four teams set out from New York on June 10 heading to Falmouth, but
one, Team Sevenoaks, has already dropped out.
Still leading are the US team, who are expected to cross the finishing
line by the end of the week.
Team Yorkshire Warrior, with Captain Paul Tetlow from York,
Lance Corporal Andy Unwin from Halifax, Captain Mick Cataldo,
and Lance Corporal Carl Powell, who are all from the
newly-formed Yorkshire Regiment, are in second place, about 150 miles
behind. Their satellite phone has also gone down.
Race organiser Teresa Page, of Woodvale Events, said the two boats
could still get coded messages to alert them of problems. A new
support vessel should be with them by Saturday.
She said: "Yes, they have got bad conditions, but they have had much
worse. They have been crossing the North Atlantic and it is a severe
ocean to cross."
Team Hesco is taking part to raise funds for the Meningitis Trust. It
is the second in a series of three extreme challenges – they have
already raced to the North Pole in a record-breaking time.