Rowers sail home after 2,900 miles

A YOUNG Suffolk man last night crossed the finishing line after a courageous three-month crossing of the Atlantic in a rowing boat.Jeremy Hinton, 23, of Snape, and his French companion, Sebastian Lefebvre , rowed into the harbour at Port St Charles in Barbados after completing the 2,900 nautical mile voyage.

By David Green

A YOUNG Suffolk man last night crossed the finishing line after a courageous three-month crossing of the Atlantic in a rowing boat.

Jeremy Hinton, 23, of Snape, and his French companion, Sebastian Lefebvre , rowed into the harbour at Port St Charles in Barbados after completing the 2,900 nautical mile voyage.

The pair, sponsored by the French region of Lorraine, were said to be exhausted but elated by their success and the relief of finally reaching their destination.


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They had overcome a series of setbacks on the long voyage, including persistent bad weather and an illness which prevented Sebastian from rowing for a period.

The race started in La Gomera, in the Canary Islands, in October, and featured more than a dozen teams of two.

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Jeremy telephoned his parents, Graeme and Sara Hinton, immediately after crossing the finishing line.

Mr Hinton said progress over the last phase of the voyage had been held up by unfavourable winds until Saturday when the wind turned to help push them towards Port St Charles.

"They could have been towed in, like seven or eight of the other boats, but as the wind had changed they decided to row the last few miles into the harbour," he said.

Both Jeremy and Sebastian had been "extremely tired and very close to the end of their tether".

"Their main food supplies were almost run out and they had to resort to chocolate chip mousses," he said.

Mr Hinton said he and his wife had never doubted their son would succeed once the half-way mark had been passed.

"Jeremy is very stubborn – I think that's a good thing when you embark on something like this," he added.

Mr and Mrs Hinton have been communicating with their son via satellite phone. The boat's computer failed on the first day, preventing the planned exchange of emails.

Jeremy and Sebastian have been taking it in turns to row throughout the voyage but on Saturday both took the oars in an attempt to speed up their return to land.

Mr Hinton said his son was intending to fly back to Britain as soon as possible.

Another team involved in the race was made up of Flight Lieutenant Mark Jacklin and Squadron Leader Matt Stowers from RAF Honington in Suffolk, who finished around two weeks ago.

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