Military Rowing Team Prepare To Cross Atlantic

The team, known as the 'Men of Oar', are looking to row from the Canary Islands to Antigua in 40 days.

Three soldiers and a civilian are training to row the Atlantic, as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

The team, known as the 'Men of Oar', are looking to row from the Canary Islands to Antigua in 40 days.

Captain Robin Drysdale, who organised the team, says his motivation to take on the challenge came after being diagnosed with cancer

He recruited Army reservists Captain David Wallace and Captain William Theakston, and Sam Bolt-Lawrence, a civilian.

Captain Robin Drysdale said: "When I was diagnosed with bowel cancer two years ago I was introduced to a guy who gave me a lot of confidence.

"He'd been through a similar thing and he told me how his life had carried on as normal after his diagnosis and his treatment.

"I felt that was a really important message for me and I want to give the others the same confidence.

"I feel this challenge is a platform from which I can do that."

The military members of the crew are drawing on their forces experiences to prepare mentally and physically.

Reservist, Captain William Theakston, said: "We are in a small, confined space here and yes back in Afghanistan we were on top of each other more or less, but that was something you learned very quickly to get on with and I think that's something we've accepted in this situation as well.

Men of Oar
The team are raising money for Bowel Cancer UK and Combat Stress.

Support for the journey is coming from across the forces world, including Cyprus.

Eighty members of the Royal Lancers, deployed to Nicosia on Operation Tosca, the UN Mission, lending their support to the Men of Oar and particularly Captain Theakston, until recently, one of their own.

They’re looking to raise £1,500 and rowed continuously for 40 hours.

Trooper Jonathan Kirtley is one of those looking to raise money and had this message for the team: "I know how much I'm putting in just for an hour, never mind 40 days out there.

"I did kayaking for a week, last week, and that was on a calm sea, never mind a rough ocean, so very good luck to you."

Men of Oar are about to begin their first 24-hour row, swapping the calm of the marina for the breezes of the English Channel and Jurassic Coast.

The team begin the Atlantic Challenge in December.