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Huge Atlantic challenge really is a family affair!

A FATHER and his two sons are bidding to become the first family trio to row the Atlantic, and, at the same time, raise £500,000 for their local charity in Salisbury.

James Trafford, at the age of 59, and a father of five, is one of the oldest participants ever to attempt the daunting, transatlantic crossing in a rowing boat, while 18-year-old son Joe is one of the youngest.

Older brother Hugo, 22, is the third member of the amateur rowing team, competing in the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge, across the Equator, which is acknowledged as the world’s toughest row.

The family trio, pictured with their vessel, will spend Christmas and New Year aboard the Rannoch R45 rowing boat, named St Christopher’s, after the charity.

They are preparing to encounter sharks, hurricanes and 40ft waves along their route and the trio are following in the wake of the boys’ grandfather, Dick Trafford, who sailed the exact same route when in his sixties.

Dick, now 92 and a former solicitor, like his father before him and his own son, took a sabbatical 30 years ago and sailed across the Atlantic with James’s uncle “for fun”.

James said: “Dad was a great sailor in his day and still loves all things nautical.”

It will take the trio between 48-65 days to row across the 3,000-milespan, from La Gomera to Antigua, in the Caribbean, at just five knots an hour when at full speed.

Older brother Hugo, a geography grad from Bristol, who lives at the family home in Salisbury, Wilts, said: “People have died doing this before. It will be very hot rowing across the Equator, and the waters can get pretty nasty at times.

“If it gets bad, you have to get down and lay inside the boat until the storm has passed.

“None of us is a rower, but we are all keen sportsmen and we are looking forward to the challenge.”

James added: “We’re really excited to get this rowing challenge underway, but I must admit other people’s reactions are starting to unnerve me.

“Of course, there’s the physical side of the crossing, and for that we’re training hard in the gym and in the boat. But the mental challenge we’re going to face is probably the toughest part.

“We’re unlikely to see any other vessels once we’ve left La Gomera, so it’s just the three of us, with no-one on the horizon for months. We’ve also had to learn all kinds of survival skills; taking courses on first-aid, crisis-planning, and even how to scale the side of a ship in an emergency.

“What’s spurring me on is our goal to raise thousands of pounds for St Christopher’s. It’s an amazing place, with inspirational staff who take so much care to make people’s lives the best that they can be, even if they are at the end of their life.

The trio call themselves the Transatlantic Traffords, and, if they do achieve this enormous feat, that name will stay with them forever.

 

Short URL: http://www.canarianweekly.com/?p=43791

Posted by on Oct 5 2018. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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