Rowing dentists make headway on Atlantic

By Karen Perrow in Charity

DENTISTS Justin Marney and Azud Irshad have edged into sixth place overall – and first in the pairs class – as they row into the second week of their 3,000-mile Atlantic challenge.

The pair set off on from La Gomera in the Canaries last week along with 11 other teams of rowers to take on the power of the Atlantic.

By midday on Wednesday the race tracker board said the were making 2.7 knots and had covered around 58 nautical miles in the last 24 hours as they faced at least more than 55 days in their 23ft boats Fresh Dental Challenge before making landfall at Antigua.

An update on the Fresh Dental Atlantic Challenge Facebook page on Monday read: ‘As of lunchtime today Justin and Azud have completed five days in the Atlantic.

‘The weather was pretty favourable at the start but they have now experienced some big swell – four to five metres and although scary, as it’s coming from behind them together with the wind it’s helping them along nicely. The distance travelled so far is 249 nautical miles, but there is still 2,366 nautical miles to go. The current predicted finish date is February 20.

‘They are sitting in seventh place against all boats but are in first against the other pairs boats. Fifth and eighth places are all pretty close.

‘As a result of hearing about a couple of communications, I understand they are in good spirits.’

The duo who normally take care of peoples’ teeth at the Pure Dental Care surgery at Townstal, Dart­mouth, and High Street, Totnes, are taking part in the epic challenge to raise cash for the Rowcroft Hospice charity.

Final preparations were made to the boat last Tuesday, with the testing of equipment and making sure all belonging were in order ahead of the start.

The stores the two adventurers have packed includes a Christmas cake for their festive celebrations which they expect to take place somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic.

Both men said they had been humbled by the amount of support they had received, the encouragement from well wishers and the sponsorship pledged – close to £10,000.

Sponsorship can be pledged at www.freshatlantic.org.uk.

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