Team Hallin update

Team Hallin has passed the 1,500 mile mid-point in their epic, physical and mental endurance test to break the Trans-Atlantic World Record.

The team’s already monumental task has become a thrilling race as their main rival boat, Sara G, who are aiming to break the same record,  are hot behind them and chasing, but Team Hallin have managed to keep their lead after more than two weeks of staggering strength and effort.

Sara G closed the gap to as little as 10 miles and, in a 3,000 mile race, they might as well be neck and neck.  The last couple of days have seen Team Hallin increase their lead again and now in their eighteenth day since embarking from Tenerife, the crew of six has rowed nonstop for 432 hours.

They have seen pods of dolphins, shooting stars, satellites, the space station, been hit by flying fish, nearly been hit by a 20,000 ton cargo ship, had legs burnt by emergency flares, slept less than 4 hours a day, lost 20 pounds each, turned their hands to raw, bleeding flesh, ruined their bodies, created agonising sores on their bottoms, tried to sleep in the tiny 40oC cabin, passed the half-way point of their epic race and are on track to beat the World Record!

Team Hallin is lead by David Hosking a former Royal Navy Commander and world champion rower who is confident that the crew will go on to beat the World Record. The Team row in a watch system, with three people rowing at all times: two hours on, two hours off, two hours on, two hours off, all the way to Barbados.  When ‘off watch’ they will boil desalinated sea-water to rehydrate their food, carry out essential repairs to boat and body and, if there is time, try to sleep before starting the four hour cycle again.

‘Traditionally a lot of people row half naked to air off their sore bottoms, although Naomi Hoogesteger,’ the only female member of the crew, ‘doesn’t seem to think much of this idea!’

Justin Johanneson, whose past sporting achievements include Ironman, ultra-marathons and high altitude climbing said the rowing challenge is beyond anything he has done.  “I was told the first week would be the worst, and it was.”

Jack Stonehouse, Team Junior at 21, said, “Youth will be little advantage in the immense struggle ahead.”

After some crew members endured horrendous seasickness in the first week, Chris Covey said, ‘If I go near a boat again, just shoot me,  but we are doing this to break a world record and to raise money for a very deserving cause.’

Team Hallin aims to raise £60,000 for Combat Stress, the UK’s leading military charity specialising in the care of UK service veterans’ mental health.  You can follow their progress with their hourly updated tracker on their website www.teamhallin.co.uk and donate to their charity, ‘Combat Stress’.

Combat Stress look after men and women who are suffering from a psychological condition related to their Service career. This might be depression, anxiety, a phobia or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Their services are free of charge to the Veteran.

Since 2005 the number of ex-Service men and women seeking the help of Combat Stress has risen by 72%. They have a current caseload of more than 4,400 individuals – including 102 Afghanistan and 400 Iraq veterans.

The East to West Transatlantic Record is the ultimate prize in ocean rowing. The current record for the 3000 mile course was set between the Canary Islands and Barbados.

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