Royal Navy team embark on 3,000-mile Atlantic row challenge to raise thousands for charity

FOUR submariners have embarked on a daring 3,000-mile challenge as they aim to tackle the ‘world’s toughest row’.

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 3:01 pm
Updated Friday, 13th December 2019, 5:04 pm

HMS Oardacious - made up of Lieutenants Hugo Mitchell-Heggs and Callum Fraser, Petty Officer Dylan Woods and Leading Engineer Technician Matt Harvey - are among the 35 teams to take on the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

Rowing in their £65,000 custom-built ‘unsinkable’ boat HMS Oardacious, the intrepid Royal Navy team began their journey across the Atlantic today as they powered across the start line in La Gomera.

The race is set to take between 20 to 40 days with the teams venturing in an unsupported row from La Gomera to Antigua, which will see them completing more than 1.5m strokes.

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Royal Navy Team, HMS Oardacious power their way over the start line

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Expecting to tackle 20ft waves on their journey, the crew members will be rowing for two hours, and sleeping for two hours for 24 hours a day, losing an average of 12kg.

This feat will be achieved with an aim to raise £130,000 for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and set up a new mental health support network for those in the Senior Service.

Royal Navy Team, HMS Oardacious power their way over the start line

Scottish member of the team, Matt Harvey, said: ‘Our culture as submariners seems like the perfect preparation for the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, whether it is knowing everything there is to know about our boat, looking out for our team mates, managing watch systems, all while contending with sleep deprivation and dealing with the emotions of leaving our loved ones.’

Sylvia Wood, grandmother of Dylan, was there among the crowd of spectators as the team embarked on their epic journey.

She said: ‘We are so so proud of the boys, they are a great team and I have been told to prepare their bangers and mash on their return.’

To support the boys in their courageous venture, text 'NAVY OAR' to 70500 to donate £5 to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

For more details about the team and the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, visit