Atlantic rowers raise more than £100,000

A PAIR of rowers have stroked their way to raising more than £100,000 for Children in Need.Guy Quilter, a 36-year-old farmer from Sutton, near Woodbridge, teamed up with a friend Hugo Ambrose, a builder from London, to tackle a daunting 3,000-mile race across the Atlantic from Tenerife.

A PAIR of rowers have stroked their way to raising more than £100,000 for Children in Need.

Guy Quilter, a 36-year-old farmer from Sutton, near Woodbridge, teamed up with a friend Hugo Ambrose, a builder from London, to tackle a daunting 3,000-mile race across the Atlantic from Tenerife.

Although the gruelling challenge is now going to take longer than expected due to adverse conditions the rowers have already topped their charity target.

This is spurring them on as they fight against tendonitis and fatigue and embark on the last 800 miles before they arrive in Barbados.


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Guy's wife Jenny is taking the couple's three children, William, eight, Henry, six, and Oliver, three, to Barbados to give the former soldier in the Irish Guards a hero's welcome when he puts down his oars.

The rowers' progress has been hampered recently by a strange weather system which depressed the sea level by six inches. The sea has become very dense and Mr Quilter said it was like trying to row through syrup.

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Their average rate of 50 miles a day was reduced considerably and they now will reach the finish several days later than expected.

They took out 200kg of powered and freeze dried food to last them and it is expected they will have enough. They are eating three times the equivalent of a man's normal calorie intake – a favourite meal is beef and potato stew and choc chip pudding - but are still losing weight.

During the day the temperature can rise to 35C (the sea is 28C) and at night it remains a very warm 25C. Mr Quilter is being given a great morale boost through messages from his sons and their friends at Orwell Park School, Nacton, which are being transmitted to the boat.

But Mr Quilter admitted: ''Tendonitis is becoming a real problem as a result of rowing in very dense water. Fingers, wrists, forearms and shoulders are sore.''

And the rowers were disappointed when a scheduled live broadcast for the Children in Need television programme was cancelled.

His wife said: ''I think they are very, very tired now and just wanting to get there. They are hungry but in good spirits.''

They had to pass various qualifications before they could enter the race including knowledge of marine radio, basic sea survival, ocean theory and first aid.

Their boat Atlantic-Wholff is named after the initials of the pair's six children and it is fitted with optional extras of solar panels and self steering equipment. All of the 18 boats are identical and Mr Quilter and Mr Ambrose were eighth when they had 810 miles left to the finish.

Their progress can be tracked via www.atlantic-wholff.org

richard.smith@eadt.co.uk

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