This has been "a busy and exciting" time for Team Row4Charity with the arrival of the new ocean rowing boat to carry them across the Indian Ocean next year.
The four man team received the 29ft carbon fibre boat which will be home for two months when they take part in the challenge in summer.
In the meantime Row4Charity is raising the money needed to compete and is also donating funds to The Stroke Association.
The team had its first outing on the boat at Sovereign Harbour and rower Matt Hellier commented: "It was an amazing feeling to finally be out on the water with her."
Supporters have already had opportunities to see the boat up close and the public is being offered the chance to have their individual or company names printed on its hull.
Matt has taken part in a number of recent events including the Hastings 100th Anniversary marathon and the Bexhill College students 100,000 metres indoor rowing attempt - they broke the world record by over 20 minutes.
He said: "Later that night Team Row4Charity threw a party in Devonshire Square, to celebrate the students fantastic achievement, and the presence of the new boat.
"We need to say a big thank you to musician Norman Levene, Dance group Dyomond Dance, Magician Richard Bellars and local band Uke Hunt, and also a massive thank you to Guy and all at Walkers for looking after our students in the morning, helping to organise the evening and throwing an awesome party in the night"
"We would like to remind everyone of the opportunity to have their name printed on the boat for the small donation of 10, companies are also invited to do the same but must first contact us at [email protected] or phone 07525931342. all details at www.row4charity.co.uk"