CHARLIE'S SET FOR ACTION IN ATLANTIC
|August 16 2004|
Action man Charlie Martell is hoping to
break into the record books with a daring attempt to row across the
Charlie, who lives in Cirencester, will join three army colleagues for the 2,800-mile feat in 2006. If they succeed, they will be the first four-man team in history to complete the challenge from west to east.
Earlier this month, the four-strong Pink Lady team failed to make the crossing when their boat broke up when Hurricane Alex struck.
Charlie, a 33-year-old former Royal Marine commando, works as a mine clearer. He is working in the Sudan but has already started training and the boat is under construction.
He and his fellow sailors, who call themselves Commando Joe, will be one of 15 teams from around the world competing in the new Ocean Fours Atlantic Rowing Challenge race.
Setting out from New York in June 2006, they will face fog, icebergs and violent storms as they battle their way through the arduous voyage.
The challenge is expected to take the team up to 50 days. They plan to raise £20,000 for the Stroud-based Meningitis Trust. They will row in memory of one of the team's sons, who died from meningitis last year.
Charlie said: "We really felt for the crew of the Pink Lady on hearing the news. We'd been following their progress since they started the voyage and were becoming increasingly interested because they appeared on track to beat the current 55-day record by some margin.
"But unfortunately the team couldn't avoid the tail end of the hurricane. Thankfully, their safety and survival training ensured there were no casualties. But it does underline the real dangers we face attempting the crossing."
Charlie's fellow rowers are all colleagues from the military. Angus McMillan is an ex-Marine while Pete Rowlands and Mark Waterson are serving army captains.
They need to raise £100,000 before they set off to cover the cost of the crossing. This is to pay for the 29ft boat, safety and survival equipment, training, food and flights to the United States.
Charlie added: "Once the boat's built, our next focus is to find a trailer on which to tow it to training events and fundraising activities."
Charlie earned the nickname Action Man when he announced plans to raise money for the charity by trekking the North Pole and running a marathon in the Sahara Desert in 2007.
If you would like to sponsor the North Atlantic trip or find out more about it, go to www.commando-joe.co.uk or call team manager Adrian Bell on 07976 866808.
Ocean Rowing Society
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