Essex

Atlantic solo row record: Charlie Pitcher 'knackered'

  • 15 March 2013
  • From the section Essex
Media captionCharlie Pitcher stepped ashore to he hugged by his family

An adventurer said he never imagined he would knock five days off the record for rowing solo across the Atlantic.

Fifty-year-old Charlie Pitcher, from Felstead in Essex, arrived at Port St Charles, Barbados, on Wednesday.

Mr Pitcher left La Gomera on his 3,000-mile (4,800km) journey on 6 February in the hope of breaking the 40-day record.

He completed the voyage in 35 days - an achievement he says was down to good winds during the first 17 days of the journey.

Speaking to BBC News, Mr Pitcher, who rowed a a carbon-hulled, 6.5m (21ft) vessel called Soma of Essex, said: "I am knackered.

"I didn't think that 35 days was possible. I thought I might beat the record by a day, maybe.

"I had a really good start to the challenge and the winds were perfect. That is where I made my gains.

"From there on after, it was a matter of trying to keep that gain in the bank and getting through each day."

'Real struggle'

Image caption Sunburnt and tired, but back on dry land for the first time in 35 days

Asked whether he ever doubted he would complete the voyage, Mr Pitcher said: "No, I was always going to get across.

"The boat was perfect and I didn't have to pick up any tools at sea."

He said the final day of rowing was a "real struggle".

Coming into Barbados was "really hard", he said, though he paid tribute to the Bajans who gave him "really good support" as he neared land.

Before setting off, Mr Pitcher told BBC News how he had thousands of songs on board to listen to, including tracks by ABBA.

Each day he has had to eat about 7,000 calories and make his own drinking water from the ocean.

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