Swainsthorpe rower aims to break Atlantic world records

James Robins' boat in Gran Canaria awaiting the start of the voyage.

James Robins' boat in Gran Canaria awaiting the start of the voyage. - Credit: Archant

It is a feat accomplished by fewer people than have successfully climbed to the summit of Mount Everest.

James Robins will soon embark on his Atlantic Rowing Challenge

James Robins will soon embark on his Atlantic Rowing Challenge - Credit: Archant

But for Swainsthorpe's James Robins, the prospect of breaking some Atlantic Rowing World Records makes him determined to succeed.

Mr Robins, 26, who now works as a doctor in Sheffield, is part of an eight-strong team aiming to row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic in a bid to break four world records, including the fastest ever crossing made by human power.

He is currently in Gran Canaria preparing for his departure on January 17.

Remarkably, Mr Robins' skipper Leven Brown is a regular the Alexandra Pub on Stafford Street in Norwich. In another twist, the landlord of that pub James (Tiny) Little actually embarked on a solo voyage himself ten years ago, which saw him row from the Canary Islands to Antigua.


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James Robins attended the Langley and Norwich schools. He now works at the Rotherham District General Hospital and will set off from Puerto Morgan in Gran Canaria destined for Port St Charles in Barbados.

His long term ambition has always been to be a surgeon, and he obtained Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons last year.

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The Atlantic mission will see the crew row in two teams of four with each team rowing for two hours on and two hours off.

The University of Sheffield medicine graduate is raising money for charity Neurocare and he aims to raise £20,000 to help buy life-saving equipment and facilities for use in neurosurgical theatres. He will battle predicted 10m-high waves in boat named Avalon, which has just come back from a trip across the Indian Ocean.

The team will aim to smash four world records. including the fastest crossing, which was first successfully completed in 1896.

James and his team hope not only to break the current record but also complete the challenge in less than 30 days – considered the four-minute mile of ocean rowing.

They are aiming to win the award for the longest distance rowed in 24 hours, as well as surpassing the 12-day world record for the most consecutive days rowing more than 100 miles.

Mr Robins said: 'We're going to face waves as high as houses and will only ever get a break of two hours at a time; which makes this challenge physically and mentally draining.

'The team each expect to lose two-and-a-half stone in weight during the challenge, which will see them burn 5,000 calories every day.

'They will eat three meals of rehydrated food every day including curries and pastas, but I'm feeling ready and I am focused on the task.

'The crew seem motivated and highly determined and I can't wait to get going'.

The marathon crossing is approximately 2,550 nautical miles – equivalent to 2,930 statute miles or 4,700km.

Tiny Little has also offered his support, ten years on from his personal challenge.

'I would tell James to enjoy it because as a doctor, he won't get to do many of these. He is in good hands with Leven; I can't count how many times he has done it.

'One of the most remarkable things is the wildlife; I saw a shark, whales and dolphins more or less every day'.

For more information about the challenge visit: www.atlanticfantastic.com. To sponsor James visit:www.justgiving.com/atlanticfantastic.

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