TWO Lyme Regis rowers have been welcomed home after their world record attempt to row across the Atlantic Ocean.
Elliot Dale, 54, and Chris Walters, 55, from Lyme Regis Gig Club, attempted to row 3,246 miles across the Atlantic from New York to the Isles of Scilly in less than 55 days to raise money for the Children’s Hospice South West.
The duo began the challenge in their Row4PreciousLives boat on June 7 but arrived at the Isles of Scilly at 10.34am on Wednesday, August 6, narrowly missing out on setting a new world record by just five days.
However, the determined duo did set a new world record rowing across the Atlantic Ocean in an ‘open class’ pairs boat.
The Lyme pair rowed a total distance of 3246 miles, raising £115,000 so far for Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW).
Chris and Elliot, who spent a total of 60 days and six minutes at sea for the challenge, are only the second pairs rowing team ever to cross the Atlantic on the difficult route.
They were joined on their final few miles into the harbour by a flotilla of local boats including the St Marys lifeboat and Lyme Regis gig clubs.
Once in sight of the harbour they were serenaded in by Frank Sinatra’s ‘New York’.
The pair took time out from their gruelling ordeal to speak to the Bridport and Lyme Regis News last week, admitting the challenge had been tough because they had encountered bad weather on the route.
Speaking at the time, Mr Walters said: “We’re doing this for a great cause and when you think of the children in the hospice and their families, you realise it’s all worth it.
“Our journey has an end in sight when we can go home, relax and enjoy life again. Their story has a very different ending.”
Alana Marie Smith, Director of Fundraising at Children’s Hospice South West said: “Thank you so much to Chris and Elliott for completing this amazing challenge.
“After all the months of preparation and then the nail-biting moments when we were glued to their progress, it was such a relief and a great honour to welcome them back home.”
For more information on the challenge or to donate, visit chsw.org.uk and follow the fundraising links.
The world record for crossing the ocean remains at 55 days and was set by two Norwegian rowers in 1896.