Oar inspiring challenge for farmer

A SUFFOLK farmer is to take up the challenge of a lifetime by competing in an epic rowing race across the Atlantic Ocean in aid of Children in Need.Guy Quilter, 36, from Sutton, near Woodbridge, and Hugo Ambrose, 40, a builder from London, will set off from the Canary Islands on October 19 heading for Barbados as part of the Atlantic Rowing Challenge 2003.

A SUFFOLK farmer is to take up the challenge of a lifetime by competing in an epic rowing race across the Atlantic Ocean in aid of Children in Need.

Guy Quilter, 36, from Sutton, near Woodbridge, and Hugo Ambrose, 40, a builder from London, will set off from the Canary Islands on October 19 heading for Barbados as part of the Atlantic Rowing Challenge 2003.

The two amateurs, who have never raced before, will be competing against 30 other identical boats although they do not expect to see them as some speed ahead while others will lag behind.

They will take it in turns to propel the 7-metre boat, in two-hour shifts round the clock.

The boat, which weighs 750kg when fully laden, is named Atlantic Wholff, W.H.O.L.F.F from the initials of their children, William, 8, Henry, 6, Oliver, 3, Louis, 8, Felix, 6, and Finn, 4.

Everything they need for the voyage will have to be carried on board including dehydrated food, energy bars and powdered carbohydrate drinks.

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Even though the boat will carry 150 litres of fresh water, this will only be ballast and a desalinator will provide the 7-10 litres of fresh water they will need each day. The toilet will be a bucket.

Mr Quilter said: "We have been training hard in the gym for two hours a day to increase our endurance levels and will increase this up to five hours as the race nears."

Neither man has ever done anything like this before, but they have had the boat for a year now and have been practising in the River Stour near Bawdsey.

Mr Ambrose said: "At first my wife was in disbelief, she didn't think I was serious about it. But when I explained the logistics, the preparation and safety measures she was more supportive."

Just to qualify the men had to complete a 72-hour row and various yacht association courses.

For more information, or to find out how to sponsor the pair, visit www.atlantic-wholff.org.

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