Stroke for stroke across Indian Ocean

FOUR local lads need to raise £60,000 to take part in a gruelling 3500 mile rowing race for charity.

They will be crossing the Indian Ocean, an ocean that, until now, has only ever been rowed five times.

Phil McCory, Nick McCory, and Ian Allen, members of the Bexhill Rowing Club, recently took part in the Great South Run to help raise the funds they need. Conditions were testing, but nowhere near as demanding as what lies ahead.

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The three will be competing alongside Matt Hellier, who came 11th out of 100 in the National Indoor Rowing Championships last Sunday.

Nick, Ian, and Matt have taken part in two 12 hour sponsored rows in Sheffield.

On November 15, a sponsored aerobics marathon is being held by Row4charity at the Retreat, St Mary's Lane off Ninfield Road, costing 5 for 45 minutes. "We are trying to do as much fundraising as we can," Phil McCory said.

They admit they have still got a long way to go before they reach the start line.

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Encountering sharks in the vast stretch of water between western Australia and Mauritius is the least of the their worries.

Phil said: "The race is going to be tough, but it's also going to be an adventure that will change our lives and hopefully the lives of others."

The team of four will row two at a time for two hours before swapping. They are training every day to ready themselves for this epic journey that could take them as long as 60 days to complete.

The race starts in Geraldton, western Australia. A fleet of local fishing boats will escort rowers 60 miles off shore, past a barrier reef. From then on their only company will be each other, and the rich variety of wildlife that the Indian Ocean has to offer, although support will always be on hand should it be necessary.

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Last week they bought the boat that will see them through this courageous voyage. They will sell it when the race is over, which should raise 30,000. All of this will go to the Stroke Association.

Although the race is not until April next year, people are already willing to buy the boat off them.

Simon Chalk, who came up with the idea for the race, took 107 days to cross the ocean solo in 2003.

For more information on the team and race, visit

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