James Watt and Olly Whitman will be taking part in the Woodvale Atlantic Rowing Race, starting in December 2011. Starting at La Gomera in the Canaries, and finishing around 2,500 nautical miles later in Antigua, they will have pushed themselves beyond what they ever thought possible. They both row for Bristol Gig Club, as the stroke pair for the Bristol mens A crew in Scilly this year, but the idea of taking on the world’s toughest rowing race has been brewing between them for some time.
“Being from the Isles of Scilly I was first inspired by the Scilly Boys who attempted a different crossing, the North Atlantic, in 2008 and after moving to Bristol and chatting with Olly I realised I had found someone who was willing to take on the challenge with me,” say James. “It’s also great to see the guys from Lyme Regis taking part in a fours boat, and I’m sure there’ll there’ll be plenty of banter between us once we get to the start line!”
Along the way they hope to raise money for Sparks, a children’s medical research charity, and Sustrans, the UK’s leading sustainable transport charity. Olly says “It’s great to be raising money for some good causes to make sure that all the effort that is put into the crossing benefits more than just the rowers taking part – but the enduring motivation (and memories after the event) will undoubtedly be of the personal challenges involved in crossing an ocean.”
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