Row4Charity win ocean race
Row4Charity has ended an epic journey across the Indian Ocean.
The four men - Matt Hellier, Ian Allen, and Nick and Phil McCorry - have beaten their nearest rivals by hundreds of miles and also become the youngest ever crew to row across any ocean.
It's a massive achievement and a challenge they have faced with courage, grit and determination - battling against technical setbacks as well as everything the ocean had to offer, and putting pain and injury to one side as they rowed day after day counting down the miles until they reached Mauritius.
They have lost their underpants overboard, had a close encounter with a shark, and developed sores in places they never knew they had.
They have taken the Bexhill Trust Challenger through 3,500 miles of ocean during 69 days of their exhausting regime, rowing two hours on and two hours off, and coming home with just the eight-crew Aud Eamus ahead of them, but still winners of this, the first ever race of its kind.
Shore Manager Geoff Dixon commented: "To all those following the race you will have watched as Aud Eamus overtook the boys, but as they are crewed by eight rowers they are not part of the race and are only taking part to record a time for their class. Aud Eamus should really have passed the Bexhill Trust Challenger at least two weeks ago, so it is to the boys immense determination and the routing skills of Andy Bristow that they so nearly beat the eight boat as well."
Apart from taking on the physical challenge of the race, Row4Charity has also been raising funds for the Stroke Association and currently has achieved 5,000 with donations online plus another 5,000 collected in their account.
Geoff thanked Bexhill residents for their support for the team and also posting messages for other rowers taking part in the race, particularly Solo Simon who had to retired from the event after completing just over 1,200 miles.
"We would also like to praise the Bexhill Trust which has responded positively with any request made, to Jackie and Paul and the Waterfront for all their help and giving us office space to use as a shorebase...There are countless others to thank but such is the amazing support shown, far too many to mention individually. Everyone has helped to raise a lot of money for the Stroke Association.
"We have also received many emails of support and congratulations from around the world, so sleepy Bexhill is now on the international map."
He appealed for further donations either online at www.row4charity.co.uk or at the Waterfront Club.