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

 


'Hellish' weather lies ahead for race team attempting to row the Atlantic
August 16 2006

Alexandra Wood

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 yesterday.

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 northerly wind.
"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 about.
"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.