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29 October 2014

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You are in: Beds Herts and Bucks > Read This > Features > Oarsome challenge!

Scott McNaughton and Neil Hunter

Scott McNaughton and Neil Hunter

Oarsome challenge!

A man from Hitchin is making his way across the Atlantic - in a canoe!

Scott McNaughton, 33, from Hitchin and Neil Hunter, 36, from Godalming, set off from La Gomera, in the Canary Islands, on Sunday 2nd December.

They are taking part in the 60-day 2,935-mile Woodvale Challenge race, dubbed "The Toughest Race on Earth" which finishes in Antigua in February.

No stranger to hostile environments having reached the summit of Everest 18 months ago, Scott said: "It's a very different experience to Everest. There's a lot of down time on the mountain. Time to recuperate. We've been preparing for a long time and it feels like it's going to be tougher. Many people have now climbed Everest, but very few have rowed across an ocean."

Teams from all over the world will compete in the race, now in its 10th year, in three race classes: solo, pairs and fours. Less than 100 pairs have successfully made the crossing. Threats such as hurricanes, tropical storms, dehydration and shipping lanes mean a third of attempts fail.

The crossing will be made even more challenging because Neil Hunter has diabetes.

Neil said his need for regular insulin injections would not stop him in his quest for glory.  He said: "Although being diabetic affects my life, it most certainly does not inhibit my life. Sensible help, advice and preparation means that we stand just as good a chance of winning as every other competitor. Sportsmen at all levels should not consider diabetes as something that takes away a competitive edge."

His condition will be monitored throughout the rowing feat by physician and endocrinologist Dr Ian Gallen, who helped Olympic champion Sir Steven Redgrave continue rowing after he was diagnosed with diabetes.

The two rowers, who are raising money for the charity Diabetes UK, will take turns doing alternate rowing shifts of two hours, 24 hours a day.

The race starts on December 2 from La Gomera in the Canary Islands and the pair aim to finish in English Harbour, Antigua, in February. 

BBC Beds, Herts and Bucks will be keeping in touch with the boys on their epic journey - make sure you come back to monitor their progress.

last updated: 10/12/2007 at 15:20
created: 06/12/2007

Have Your Say

Send your messages of support to Scott and Neil here:

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Kelvin, Letchworth
As a diabetic person myself, I have nothing but admiration for the boys... well done - I wish you every success!

david
i hope all goes well for you

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