UWE ALUMNI ATTEMPTS TO BREAK ATLANTIC ROWING RECORD

Issue date: 29 May 2003


ISSUE DATE: 29/05/03

Richard Pullan, a former UWE student and past Boat Club President is planning to cross the Atlantic in a row boat with team mate Chris Hall as part of the Atlantic Rowing Challenge 2003.

In a small rowing boat they will set off from the Canary Islands in October and row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean to Barbados. They will attempt to break the record of 41 days, 1 hour and 55 minutes set in 1997 by [New Zealanders] Rob Hamill and the late Phil Stubbs.

Their Challenge will also raise funds for the Sir Steve Redgrave Charitable Trust, which supports children by providing money to local charities where help is needed most.

Richard said, “For me this event has to be the ultimate rowing race both in terms of the adventure and the physical and mental preparation required. On paper Chris Hall and I are the number one British crew and we stand a very good chance of beating the record. Some things like the weather will be down to good luck but we will be at peak fitness by October. This is crucial as the stamina needed to cope with this endurance test will be gruelling. We will row in two hourly shifts for 24 hours a day clocking up over 70 miles each day and over 1000 hours of rowing. To give a comparison of what we face in the Atlantic Rowing Challenge 2003 cyclists competing in the Tour de France endure about 100 hours of intense competition.”

The team will be using a specially equipped rowing boat, which will provide for all of their needs for the duration of the trip. The boat has a tiny sleeping compartment which the two athletes will take turns to squeeze themselves into. Asked about the risks associated with this race Richard pointed out that there at only been six crews lost in the oceans in the entire history of rowing. “We have quite a basic boat but it is equipped for all eventualities and we have a lot of experience between us. Our focus will be firmly set on beating the record. We will be hooked up to the outside world by satellite phone and our progress can be tracked on our website rowatlantic.com.”

Richard and Chris are also using their Challenge to provide educational opportunities for children though a specially designed website and through visits to local schools. Richard says, “We recently took the boat along to St George Community College in Bristol and the children had the chance to take part in physical activities as well as learning about the skills involved in rowing the Atlantic.”

Richard was also in the winning UWE alumni team, which recently rowed to victory against the University of Bristol in the Varsity boat race in Bristol docks.

-ENDS-

Editor’s notes

Jpeg visual available by e-mailing Jayne.Andrews@uwe.ac.uk - Richard Pullan and Chris Hall with ‘Atlantic’ in the Bristol docks.

Back to top