Brunel student in attempt to break Atlantic row record
Tom Harvey, from Brunel University in Uxbridge, and his fellow team members John Cecil-Wright, Robbie Grant and Carl Theakston are 'Team Pura Vida' - which in Costa Rican translates as 'Full of Life'.
Commented Tom: “The race is a test of our mental and physical endurance - and we are primed and ready.“
Team Pura Vida will be competing in the fours class of the 2007 Woodvale Atlantic Rowing Race.
The first Atlantic Rowing Race took place in October 1997. Ten years on, the race attracts a mixture of singles, doubles and four-man crews from across the .
By sleeping rough in a rowing boat in torrid weather conditions over the Christmas and New Year period, Team Pura Vida hope to raise awareness of the plight of homeless people in the UK.
Their chosen charities are The Big Issue Foundation, Crisis and Raleigh International charities, who encourage the vulnerable or homeless to help themselves.
This gruelling race starts from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to the finish line in English Harbour, Antigua.
They will be covering 2,800 miles of open-ocean and facing conditions ranging from relentless sun, torrential rain and thunderous storms. Survival in such cramped conditions will require good preparation and a strong working routine once the race is under way. The team is currently planning a system whereby they will row in pairs for consecutive shifts of two hours during the day, before switching to four hour shifts at night.
The crew of four is expected to row at an average speed of around three knots (3.5 mph), but as the race and the elements take their toll, it will be down to the team to sustain this tempo for the entire crossing. Sleep deprivation, blisters and weight-loss will be among the challenges facing them.
Tom added: “We can't forget that we're also doing this to raise awareness of the plight of homeless people in the UK. We count ourselves lucky that despite all the dangers the Atlantic Ocean has to throw at us - we've still got homes to return to.
“The crossing is sure to leave us with memories that we will carry with us for the rest of our lives. Regardless of the race results, the chance to compete in an event such as this and to experience the open ocean in such an immediate and hands-on fashion is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.“
Team Pura Vida's progress during the race will be on the website, and blog: www.atlanticrowingchallenge.com/blog