The Field

Rowing the Atlantic for the Legion


Christmas will have a different flavour this year for William Quarmby and his fourstrong team of rowers, as they’ll be taking part in the 3,000-mile long Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge 2018.

Departing on 12 December, the team, all Field readers from Yorkshire, will be rowing for 24 hours a day across the Atlantic with a bucket for a bathroom, all food on board and converted sea water to drink.

All apart from Quarmby, who is a landscape designer, have a forces background. Fraser Mowlem, 41, is a serving RAF technician and Glyn Sadler, 37, a former Marine who now runs a Crossfit business. The youngest member of the Row4victor­y team, Duncan Roy, 28, is an ex-army Royal Engineer who is now fitness director of a Yorkshire-based health spa.

Generous sponsorshi­p from Yorkshire businesses has helped cover the boat building and other costs of taking part. All the charitable funds from the row will be divided between the Royal British Legion and Soldier On!. By October, a quarter of the £100,000 target had been raised.

Starting in La Gomera, a small island off Tenerife, the rowers aim to get to Antigua by the middle of January in front of the 27 other teams who’ve come from around the world. On the way they will encounter 40ft waves, the odd visit from a shark and soaring temperatur­es.

Life on the boat with only a bucket for a loo, converted seawater to drink and very little sleep with be “a relentless challenge, but worth it”, said Quarmby, who reckons he’s “going to look like something out of Castaway” when they return.

The team have been in training in the North Sea for the past two years and have spent countless hours doing weights in the gym and route marching up the hills of the Yorkshire moors to get fit. “More people have been into space or climbed Everest than rowed the Atlantic,” admits Quarmby, “but we are really looking forward to it.”

For details, visit: www.row4victor­

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