Diss rower to face Atlantic challenge for charities

The crew preparing in the the Ocean Reunion

The crew preparing in the the Ocean Reunion - Credit: Archant

As a personal trainer and rugby player, Angus Barton is used to tough physical challenges.

Ocean Reunion, a team of four who are rowing 3000 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean to raise

Ocean Reunion, a team of four who are rowing 3000 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and Teenage Cancer Trust. Pictured: Ocean Reunion team. Picture: Supplied - Credit: Supplied

But now the 25-year-old from Diss is to embark on one of the toughest challenges in the world that will see him and three close-knit friends row more than 3,000 nautical miles for charity.

Tomorrow, Mr Barton and Jack Mayhew, Angus Collins and Joe Barnett will set out on epic oar-powered journey across the Atlantic Ocean.

The rowers are taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in the purpose-built Ocean Reunion.

Tomorrow, the team and other competitors will set off from San Sebastian in La Gomera in the Canary Islands and will spend up to 60 days rowing towards Antigua.

As the crew battle waves, 40 degree C heat, possible close encounters with sharks and whales, they will be spurred on by the fact their challenge will be raising funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

As the rowers spend two hours behind the oars followed by a two- hour rest, they hope to raise £50,000 for both charities.

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During their journey it is estimated the crew members will consume 1,680,000 calories, drink 2,880 litres of water and each team member potentially will only have 240 hours of sleep in order to pull the oars one million times.

And while this would be daunting enough for even seasoned oarsmen, Mr Barton admits that he often suffers from sea sickness, is a terrible swimmer, and has a great fear of sharks.

Mr Barton, who went to Exeter University, said: 'I just can't wait for that feeling that we have done it.

'I am confident we'll do it in a good time.'

The crew's challenge has involved 28 months of planning and training.

Mr Barton added that he hoped the expedition can raise enough money to make a real difference to the lives of young people affected by cancer.

The idea of the Atlantic Challenge race came to Sir Chay Blyth while he was rowing the Atlantic Ocean in 1966 with John Ridgeway.

It was a 92-day battle against hurricanes, 50-foot waves and near starvation.

To support the crew with a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/Ocean-Reunion1 to give to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, or visit www.justgiving.com/Ocean-Reunion/ to make a pledge for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Are you taking part in a challenge for charity? Email reporter Anthony Carroll at anthony.carroll@archant.co.uk