Skipton man joins Atlantic rowing team to raise funds for Help for Heroes

Craven Herald: Skipton man Mike Buckley (far left) is one of a team of six people who are attempting to row the Atlantic Ocean to raise money for Help for Heroes Skipton man Mike Buckley (far left) is one of a team of six people who are attempting to row the Atlantic Ocean to raise money for Help for Heroes

Skipton man Mike Buckley is looking to row his way into the record books.

Twenty-eight-year-old Mike is one of six people who are attempting to row the Atlantic Ocean in under 30 days.

And they are hoping their efforts will raise money for the Help for Heroes charity, which helps those who have been wounded in Britain's current conflicts.

The team, skippered by Simon Chalk, is taking part in the Oceanus Rowing speed challenge in a lightweight boat called Titan.

Simon has rowed the ocean five times previously and wanted to make 2013 the year he broke the record, completing the 3,000-mile journey in under 30 days.

“It is a very sought-after record in ocean rowing terms, so if you are going to row the Atlantic you might as well aim high,” said Simon. “The current record is 32 days and the boat to smash this record is Titan. She is the most lightweight ocean rowing boat ever to be built and is more than capable of getting near that ‘four minute mile of ocean rowing’ the sub-30 days.”

Mike, who is studying for an adventure sports coaching degree, signed up for the challenge after receiving a text from a friend, who knew Simon.

“I thought it sounded very interesting. I have a background in rowing and outdoor pursuits so it definitely suited me. I went along to a training weekend and was selected.

“I really believe that when opportunities come your way, you have to take them."

Other crew members are police officer Kez Bostock form Nottingham, Andrew Berry from Edinburgh, Rufus Gordon-Dean, an army officer from the Household Cavalry Regiment, and New Zealander Paul Gerritsen.

They decided to support Help for Heroes because of their military links.

Mike added: “I have a number of friends who have joined the armed forces. Luckily, none of them have ever been hurt but I have heard about those who have. Help for Heroes supports those who have suffered life-changing injuries and think they do a great job, I am thrilled to be showing my support.”

Mike and the team spent a few weeks training in Gran Canaria, before setting off from Puerto de Mogan last Tuesday. They are heading for Port St Charles in Barbados.

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