In Training

In Training

Two young men will be away from their families this Christmas, as they will be rowing across the Atlantic as part of a two-person 50-day non-stop challenge crossing 3,000 nautical miles and burning 10,000 calories a day each. The challenge is described as the ‘world’s toughest endurance race’. The row will commence on 2 December. There will be a November launch event in London for media (date tba) – please register your interest.

Childhood friends Luke Birch from Lincolnshire and Jamie Sparks from London will this December be attempting to break the World Record for the youngest team to row the Atlantic.  At the same time, they will be raising funds for Breast Cancer Care. Their target is £100,000.  The public is invited to follow the attempt when it happens in December, but also to see the boat when it is displayed at a special event at Luke’s family home (Doddington Hall near Lincoln) in September.

Luke and Jamie have been training since summer 2012 and are both 21 years old. Luke is currently studying at Edinburgh University and is no stranger to pushing himself to the limit: in 2010 he swum the English Channel in 14 hours and 45 minutes as a solo swimmer (at the time only 50 people aged 18 and under had completed the swim).  Jamie is studying at Bristol University and is from Islington, London.  He played rugby for Middlesex (U18s and U20s)and cycled 1500 miles from Gibraltar to London.

The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is described as the ‘world’s toughest endurance race’. Teams – including Luke and Jamie rowing as ‘2 Boys in a Boat’ – will row more than 3,000 nautical miles non-stop in two hour shifts across the world’s second largest ocean, the Atlantic. Rowers will start on 2 December from the Canary Islands (La Gomera) and finish in Antigua; it will take 40-55 days to complete the challenge  – depending of course on the weather.   There are currently twenty teams entered  in the race but it is unlikely that they will all make it to the start; twelve are British.

As part of their preparations, Luke and Jamie – apart from rowing thousands of practice miles on their boat and rowing machines – have had to gain an RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Theory certificate, a First Aid certificate and an RYA Basic Sea Survival course completion certificate. During the race, they will not be allowed any outside assistance and Luke and Jamie will have to survive with onboard supplies, making up their dehydrated food with water produced by a solar powered desalinator.

Luke and Jamie have purchased a boat using their savings and some help from their families, though the plan is to sell the boat afterwards to offset some of the cost.

For more information about corporate sponsorship and donation, please visit www.2boysinaboat.com


Notes to editors:

Media relations handled by: Amy Claridge MCIPR on 01522 698 698 / 07770 764446. IMAGES AVAILABLE.

I can arrange for you: press releases, interviews, social media content, audio-blogs and supply of photography before, during and after the row plus post-event interviews.  

*sponsors to date include: Reed Employment (LEAD SPONSOR), ‘Admirals’ (min £2k) : Duncan & Toplis,  Bespoke Foods, ATG Chartwell, MyProtein.com,  INFOTEX, James Cameron Film production. ‘Captains’ (min £500): Welbeck Bakehouse, Edge Interactive (web design), Brewin Dolphin, Wilkin Chapman, Arco, Doubletree by Hilton, India Jane, Langleys Solicitors and Brown & Co.  David Lloyd Leisure in Lincoln has donated gym memberships to aid the boys’ training.

**Please note that there is a very personal reason why the challenge is raising money for Breast Cancer Care, which Claire Birch (Luke’s mother) is happy to be interviewed about. Claire is also the challenge’s fundraising and sponsorship manager.





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