May 24 2013 Latest news:
Friday, February 8, 2013
ROWER Charlie Pitcher had to turn back just six hours into his world record attempt to become the fastest person to cross the Atlantic.
The dad-of four, of Alderton Close in Felsted, is aiming to get from La Gomera, in the Canary Islands, to Barbados, within 40 days, 9 hours and 44 minutes – the current record set in January 2012.
However, his first attempt on Saturday (February 2) was scuppered by bad weather.
“It was frustrating as I headed off from La Gomera at an astonishing rate only to get sucked up into the local weather under the land which left me rowing for two hours against the current and with a headwind,” said the 50-year-old, pictured.
“In all, I achieved very little distance as I fought these elements and so made a tough decision to head back to the start and wait for better weather.
“I could have been potentially rowing against unfavourable conditions for 12 to 18 hours which may seem little, but I am only here for one thing and that is to get across as fast as possible.
“I’ve rowed this route before and if I was on a ‘jolly’, then I would have carried on but that is not the goal this time around.”
Mr Pitcher, who individually rowed the Atlantic in 2010, explained there was a bad south-westerly wind coming so he would let it pass before trying again yesterday (Thursday).
In his ship’s log, which he is updating daily about the crossing, he admitted the enforced wait has turned his thoughts to his family.
“I already miss my wife and children and I have not even started,” he wrote.
“But in the big picture, this is a great challenge with lots of support and one that will bring great stories and it won’t be long before it’s over and we are all together again. I also remember why I wanted to do this in the first place and that makes me feel very positive.”
Mr Pitcher is fund-raising for Great Ormond Street Hospital and the C Group.