66-year-old Simon Howes is about to take on the challenge of a lifetime by rowing single-handedly across the Atlantic in a bid to raise £100,000 for the IW Red Squirrel Trust.

Simon will set off from La Gomera, Tenerife on 12th December and will spend the following 3 months crossing the Atlantic as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge 2021. He will reach English Harbour, Antigua by the end of March after spending between 70-100 days at sea and rowing more than 3,000 miles.

It was La Gomera where Christopher Columbus set off to discover the New World in 1492 and Simon is hoping to make his own history by becoming one of the oldest men in history to row across an ocean in a solo rowing boat unassisted.

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It’s only since the first lockdown in early 2020 that Simon has been training for the epic adventure having acquired a 25ft rowing boat. His boat has now been kitted out with the latest technology including AIS, VHF radio, satellite telephones and GPS tracking.

During his challenge, Simon will need to consume over 5,000 calories a day to keep himself fuelled so will consume over 300 dried meals, lots of Mars bars and assorted nuts. He will also need to drink at least 10 litres of water a day so has installed a solar-powered water maker.

After A Man Overboard Drill !
Photo: Atlantic Campaigns

Speaking to Island Echo, Simon has said:

“I will be trying not to come last in the race, but had never rowed before in my life until last year. I am one of only four solo rowers, the rest of the fleet is made up of twos, fours and fives, all of which will be much quicker than the solos.

“It won’t be a doddle… many more people have been into Space and more people have climbed Mount Everest than have ever rowed the Atlantic Ocean. Rowing in up to 40 foot waves and the water being over five miles deep in places, is certainly daunting. I understand that the number of oar strokes required to arrive into The Caribbean is at least 1,500,000!”

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Explaining his charity choice, Simon says:

“I am putting myself through this gruelling challenge to raise money for a cause very close to my heart. Since moving to the Isle of Wight we have been enthralled by the Red Squirrel population in and around our garden. However, they are an endangered species and I felt I should do something now to help ensure their future on this Island”.

100% of the money raised will go to charity as Simon is funding the boat and his journey himself.

To make a donation:
To learn more about the registered charity:
To follow Simon’s progress on the yellow brick tracker across the Atlantic:

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