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Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Youngest team ever! 90 days at sea by row boat

Published: 31 July 2015

After rowing non-stop over 3000 nautical miles, University of Southampton alumnus Lawrence Walters (Ship Science, 2014) and his partner Tom Rainey are about to arrive back in the UK after almost 90 days at sea.

Notes for editors

Having already broken a Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in 24 hours by an ocean row boat (112 nautical miles), Lawrence and Tom are expected to row into Salcombe in the next few days, where upon arriving they will also set a new record as the youngest ever team to complete the route under oar power.

The pair began their journey in New York at the start of May, and have been rowing the Atlantic Ocean in support of The Brain Tumour Charity and in memory of Tom’s late father Luke, who died in 2012. Sarah Lindsell, chief executive of The Brain Tumour Charity, said: “Tom and Lawrence have put themselves through an extraordinary challenge to raise an incredible amount of money for us and for a cause they believe in passionately. Their commitment to helping us end the misery caused by brain tumours, after what Tom’s family went through when they lost Luke, is genuinely awe-inspiring.”

Originally from Lymington but now living and working in Bristol, Lawrence stepped in to help his friend Tom Rainey after Tom’s teammate injured his back in a training session. Following his studies in Ship Science and a lifelong affinity for the environment, Lawrence also hopes to bring awareness to the North Atlantic rubbish patch – an area of man-made debris stretching hundreds of miles – by recording its position.

The pair experienced difficulties in the early stages of their challenge and were trapped in the centre of bad weather whilst rowing close to the Kelvin Seamount. But after eventually battling through, Lawrence and Tom were able to break free and make steady progress towards their destination. They have even managed to celebrate Tom’s birthday on board.

The team are expected to arrive at Whitestrand in Salcombe between the 2nd and the 4th August with the most likely homecoming at 16:00 on 3rd August with a 60% probability. Visit their website Ocean Valour or their fundraising page to support their goal of raising £250,000 and for information about the Arrival Party planned. You can also follow their journey on Facebook or Twitter as they countdown towards the end of their immense challenge.

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