TWO former marines from Chester will take on the biggest challenge of their lives as they attempt to row the Atlantic Ocean.
Mick Holgate, of Kempton Close, Chester, will attempt to row the 3,000 miles with friend Gavin Emmerson, of Rhos-on-Sea, in December for charity.
The two former Royal Marines are looking to join the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge, which will begin on December 2, tackling the 3,000 miles between the Canary Islands and Antigua aboard their boat, the Atlantic Patience.
Mick, 37, who currently works in maritime security, explained that despite not being an experienced rower, it was something he had always aimed for.
He said: “It is something I have wanted to do for a while and this is the best time for me. We want to do it unsupported so we will be taking 90 days of food with us and sterilize water as we go.
“We hope to complete the challenge in 60 days and we are hoping to keep everyone updated as we go.
“We don’t have any rowing experience or sailing experience but we are preparing properly for it.
“We will take it in turns to row – four hours on and four hours sleeping – which will be gruelling but we have taken the safety advice very seriously so we should be OK.”
The rowers want to raise money for two chosen charities – Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue and the Orlando Rogers Foundation – but they need to raise an entry fee of £18,000 as well as funds for their supplies and are looking for sponsors.
They took part in a time trial between Porth Eirias, at Colwyn Bay, and Conwy Quay earlier this month in a bid to attract publicity and test out their boat for the first time.
Gavin, 33, said: “The hardest part was when we came round the Little Orme – we weren’t expecting that hard a current. It required both of us to row, and when we were hitting the currents, our GPS said we were travelling quite slowly. It needed both of us just to power it through.
“Because we had the currents, we were nowhere near the guessed times – it took us eight hours and 12 minutes for 12 nautical miles.”
In spite of rowing into the estuary during the River Festival, the duo were unable to attract any sponsors.
For further information go to www.atlanticpatience.com.