Lee Spencer
Royal Marines

‘The Rowing Marine’ Days Away From Completing World Record Row

Lee Spencer

A former Royal Marine is just over a week away from completing his world record transatlantic row, having set off from Gibraltar in early January.

Lee Spencer, also known as ‘The Rowing Marine,’ is aiming to become the first physically disabled person to row solo and unsupported across the Atlantic, East to West, from Europe to South America. 

He spoke to Hayley Hammond, from Forces Radio BFBS, on his satellite phone when he was 600 miles from his final destination of Cayenne in French Guiana.

You can hear the audio in the clip below.

He is now nearing the end of the 3,500-mile challenge, undertaken in aid of the Royal Marines Charity and the Endeavour Fund.  To date, he has raised nearly £43,000 for the charities.

Lee is not only aiming to beat the physically disabled record of 109 days, but also the current able-bodied record of 97 days, set by Stein Hoff in 2002.

Lee Spencer HMS Sabre Gibraltar
Lee Spencer began his record-breaking attempt in Gibraltar in January and was escorted by HMS Sabre from the Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron

Reflecting on the best and worst parts of the challenge Lee had this to say:

“A couple of days ago, some sperm whales just appeared right next to the boat - like a metre away. That was quite special.”

“The worst part was near the start when I lost my navigation system. When it happened, I thought it was the end of the road. I was devastated.”

Lee has kept his supporters up-to-date with his progress on social media, and gained the support of some famous faces along the way.

“I’ve lost quite a lot of weight, and got a proper full-on beard.”

With just days to go, Lee is starting to look forward to being back on dry land again.

“The thing that I’m really craving is a proper cup of tea and a bacon sandwich.”

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