Two best friends, one boat, 3,000 miles and a £100k target
Two best friends are set to row across the Atlantic ocean in what has been described as the world's toughest endurance race.
Luke Birch and Jamie Sparks, both 21, will be the youngest competitors in this year's Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.
They will be among 20 teams which set off from the Canary Islands on December 2 with the aim of rowing 3,000 nautical miles non-stop to reach Antigua 40-55 days later.
They will not be allowed any outside assistance during the race and will have to survive with onboard supplies, making their dehydrated food with seawater cleaned by a solar powered desalinator.
FREE BOILER !!! FREE BOILER !!!LANDLORDS / TENANTS & HOMEOWNERS,...View details
ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR A FREE BOILER ??? IF YOU ARE IN RECEIT OF TAX CREDITS, PENSION CREDITS, INCOME SUPPORT, JOB SEEKERS ALLOWANCE OR DISABILITY, THEN GIVE YOUR LOCAL PLUMBING COMPANY A CALL NOW.
Terms: TS & CS APPLY
Contact: 01472 803004
Valid until: Tuesday, December 31 2013
Luke, who swam across the English Channel in 14 hours and 45 minutes in 2010, said: "I'd describe Jamie as a big strong boy, and I have always found him to be the best of company. He will be a fast rower and I would trust him with my life.
"I lived in London and went to Arnold House School with Jamie until I was 13. Then I moved to Lincolnshire with my family. Jamie and I have remained friends since we were kids.
"This will be my first time away from my family at Christmas and New Year and we aren't even taking any luxuries to celebrate either."
Jamie said: "I'd best describe Luke as 100 per cent determined and focussed once he decides he wants to do something.
"He also has a wonderful tendency to remain incredibly calm in times of adversity.
"Best thing of all is that he is a great laugh to be around. I couldn't imagine doing this with anyone else.
"We'll hopefully keep each other sane.
"We'll feel every type of human emotion from extreme lows to total elation when we're out there.
"It will be a case of mind over matter.
"I'll miss Christmas, New Year and my birthday when we're away but I'm sure I'll make up for it with celebrations when we get back."
The friends are aiming to raise £100,000 for Breast Cancer Care during the row and have already raised £26,612 towards the target.
Luke, whose family own Doddington Hall, has seen both his mother and grandmother diagnosed with breast cancer.
Luke's mum, Claire Birch is recovering. His grandmother died from the condition at the age of 64.
Jamie said: "We're supporting Breast Cancer because it's close to both our hearts. I'm close to Claire and saw what she went through with her fight against the disease and we want to help make a difference for other women who are diagnosed.
"I've got a mum and other family members who could one day benefit from what we're doing."