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AND they're off: Harrogate Army team set sail across the Atlantic

AND they're off: Harrogate Army team set sail across the Atlantic

Published by May Norman at 6:50am 12th December 2019.

Harrogate rowers embark on a tough sailing challenge

  • A team from the Army Foundation College in Harrogate have set off on the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge.
  • The four servicemen are to row 3,000 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Team 'Force Atlantic' will be at a sea for 100 days, raising money for the ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.

Four men from Harrogate's Army Foundation College have started their ultimate test of physical and mental endurance today (Thursday, 12 December).

The 'Force Atlantic team will be rowing 3,000 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean for the next Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge.

They've set off from La Gomera in the Canary Islands and row all the way to English Harbour in Antigua, as one of the 30 teams from around the globe.

Force Atlantic - Talisker
L-R: Alex Walsh, Kian Helm, Chris Hames and Richard Hall

It’s been described as “the world’s toughest row” - and just to put into perspective how gruelling it is, more people have climbed Everest than rowed across the Atlantic Ocean!

The all-male crew consists Captain Chris Hames, Private Kian Helm, Lieutenant Colonel Rich Hall and Captain Alex Walsh.

Kian Helm is just 18-year-old and is bidding to become the third youngest person to row the Atlantic Ocean.

He said:

“I’ve never done a 40-day period away from home before but my family has been really supportive.

“My mum was uneasy at first but that’s just natural - she has come around to the idea now.

"We just want to get started now and get out on the water. 

“All the work we have put in is starting to come together."

Force Atlantic has departed La Gomera in the Canary Islands and are aiming to reach Antigua 40 days later.

Rowing in pairs in two-hour shifts, through day and night, it will take a million oar strokes to complete the journey.

Force Atlantic - Talisker
A place 'Team Atlantic' will call home for the next 40 days

The Force Atlantic crew will row in a nine metre by two metre vessel alongside three officers over approximately six weeks. 

They must consume 5,000 calories a day and row in shifts, with two on the oars while the other pair rest every two hours.

The four man crew are hoping to raise £100k for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.

Force Atlantic - Talisker
L-R: Alex Walsh, Kian Helm, Rich Hall and Chris Hames

To donate to Force Atlantic, visit their website or JustGiving page.

The crew will be posting regular updates of their training throughout 2019 on their website - click here to follow their progress.

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