Ripon man and his Yorkshire crew cross halfway point in gruelling Atlantic challenge

Will Quarmby and friends compete in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.
Will Quarmby and friends compete in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

A Ripon man and his Yorkshire-based team Row4Victory are focussed on the second half of their gruelling 3,000 nautical mile race across the Atlantic Ocean, having crossed the halfway point on New Year’s Day.

Described as “the world’s toughest endurance race”, the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge began at La Gomera in the Canary Islands on December 12 - the team is on track to reach the finish line at English Harbour in Antigua before the end of January.

Will Quarmby and friends keep spirits high in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

Will Quarmby and friends keep spirits high in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

Will Quarmby, a landscape gardener from Ripon, is one of the four-man crew of friends which also consists Duncan Roy, a former Royal Engineer; Fraser Mowlem, serving Chief Technician in the Royal Air Force and former Royal Marine Glyn Sadler.

Will said: “We are no longer beginning this challenge but finishing.

“We dare to start counting down the days and miles rather than up.

“We are no longer getting further away from our loved ones but closer.

“When you think you’ve given your all, you can find reserves in new depths to think you are now going home and back to family and friends.”

It hasn’t all been plain sailing for the Yorkshire four.

They have been faced with adverse weather conditions, giant waves, sea sickness and some technical issues with the boat, even injuries - Duncan was stung by a jellyfish when cleaning the hull of the boat, and Fraser suffered an intense shin injury through over-use, which resulted in him having six days of complete rest from rowing.

The team had reached the 1,000-mile mark (a third of the race) on Christmas Day, which was described by Fraser as “the best present we could hope for.”

They all took ten minutes off from the oars to share a mince pie, open their Secret Santa gifts and make phone calls home to their children, wives, girlfriends and families.

Row4Victory are taking part in the challenge in aid of two military charities: The Royal British Legion and Soldier On! - in December, they raised over £4,000.

Will added: “Every donation is fed back to us and we’re continually blown away by the unwavering generosity of the people who hear about what we’re doing for the Royal British Legion and Soldier On! and feel moved to contribute.

“What we’re going through is insignificant compared to the pain, trauma and loss felt by some of the people these two incredible charities help every day of the year.”

Sir Gary Verity DL, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “It’s been an immense challenge for Fraser, Will, Duncan and Glyn so far, but they’re in a great position and we couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Click here to support Row4Victory or tex 70070 with the code ROWV59 followed by £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10.