Atlantic rower has brush with shark

A BRAVE rower who is battling to become the fastest oarsman to cross the Atlantic from west to east has said he is now unlikely to beat the record.Oliver Hicks, from Thorpeness, is now 11 days into an epic journey that began at New York and will see him row 3,000 miles to Falmouth in Cornwall.

A BRAVE rower who is battling to become the fastest oarsman to cross the Atlantic from west to east has said he is now unlikely to beat the record.

Oliver Hicks, from Thorpeness, is now 11 days into an epic journey that began at New York and will see him row 3,000 miles to Falmouth in Cornwall.

Weather conditions over the last couple of days have caused a few setbacks.

The 23-year-old rower faced rain all day on Friday and said the journey had become much tougher as he raced into a headwind.


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In his web diary, he admitted a new speed record looked unlikely due to the slow progress so far.

He was also confronted with a giant shark, whose fin was larger than the cabin itself.

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The current record of rowing west to east across the Atlantic is 62 days.

While Mr Hick's says beating it is now unlikely, he could still set records for the world's youngest rower to cross the Atlantic west to east.

Mr Hicks, who is being sponsored by Virgin Atlantic, wrote on the website on Friday: "Been raining all day, made 15 miles east today against the wind. Much harder physically and mentally rowing into a headwind.

"New speed record now looks unlikely due to slow progress so far."

Mr Hicks aims to raise more than £60,000 for charity Hope and Homes for Children and to further medical research into endurance sports and their effect on the human body.

Only 12 people have ever completed the west-east trip and less than 150 have rowed the Atlantic solo.

Mr Hicks will be living on dehydrated ready meals and will pull more than 7,000 strokes a day.

Severe weather and exhaustion are not the only hazards in the trip, as Mr Hicks discovered on Saturday when he was tailed by a shark.

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