Whitehead man passes halfway point in 'world's toughest row'

HMS Oardacious at sea.  Photo by GRM
HMS Oardacious at sea. Photo by GRM

A Whitehead man and his team-mates have passed the halfway point of a gruelling 3,000 mile rowing race.

Dylan Woods is part of a crew of four British submariners taking on the 'world’s toughest row’, the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

Dylan Woods.

Dylan Woods.

Known as HMS Oardacious, they are among 35 teams who set off on December 12 on an unsupported row from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua.

The four Royal Navy submariners aim to be the first to cross the finish line, with hopes of raising over £100,000 for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity in the process.

Participants have been tackling waves of up to 20 feet on their journey, rowing for two hours and sleeping for two hours, 24 hours a day.

The team makes regular updates to the HMS Oardacious Facebook page, with a post on New Year's Day confirming they had passed the halfway point of the race.

On Monday, HMS Oardacious recorded a personal best of 86 miles in 24 hours, with hopes of reaching their final destination next week.

The group spent their Christmas at sea, with team member Hugo Mitchell-Heggs detailing how the trip had been beset by difficulties including "a range of equipment defects: electrical failures, steering, seized seat bearings, [and] buckled oar gates."

He added: "As a team we count ourselves lucky to have been challenged by a wide range of weather conditions typical of the North Atlantic this time of year, from 25-knot winds [and] waves taller than houses."

The crew has also spotted a range of marine wildlife on their journey, from dolphins and sea birds to a pod of whales.

To support the boys in their courageous venture, text 'NAVY OAR’ to 70500 to donate £5 to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.