Media release: Royal Navy team accomplish epic Atlantic row challenge

HMS oardacious home

FOUR British submariners have just completed an epic world challenge, after rowing a whopping 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean in just 36 days, six hours, 40 minutes.

HMS Oardacious are four Royal Navy submariners who completed the epic journey from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Nelson’s Harbour in Antigua in the Caribbean in order to raise over £100,000 for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

The team – made up of Lieutenant Hugo Mitchell-Heggs from Sheffield, Lieutenant Callum Fraser from Basingstoke, Petty Officer Dylan Woods from Northern Ireland and Leading Engineer Technician Matt Harvey from Kirkcaldy – embarked upon the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, aka the ‘world’s toughest row’, on December 12.

In just 36 days, they rowed their 28ft-long, £50,000 lightweight R45 Rannoch rowing boat across 3,000 miles of shark-infested waters, waves reaching heights of 40ft, heavy storms, and busy shipping lanes.

Lieutenant Hugo Mitchell-Heggs said: “The beginning of the race was touch and go, due to the demise of our autopilot which meant we had to steer manually and took us down to three men for 24 hours, but determination and great team work meant we still managed to remain in the front pack.”

Completing 1.5million strokes by keeping to a strict schedule of rowing two hours, and sleeping for two hours, 24 hours a day, the submariners overcame seasickness, blisters and sores.

At their lowest, the team battled dehydration and extreme fatigue in 40-degree heat, burning 12,000 calories a day and losing around 20 per cent of their body weight.

Petty Officer Dylan Woods added: “It was an incredible challenge for a worthwhile cause and it feels great to be back on land, reunited with loved ones. My gran was told to prepare bangers and mash for our return, so that will be next on my list!”

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

Caption for photograph:

Team HMS Oardacious, Hugo, Dylan, Callum and Matthew arrive in Antigua – picture credit Ben Duffy Photography Ltd.

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