We were interviewed by The Northern Echo recently and here is the final article.
“A surveyor aiming to raise more than £200,000 for charity by racing across the Atlantic in a rowing boat says his confidence about rapidly completing the 3,000-mile voyage had risen, ahead of setting off tomorrow.
Dan Howie, of Little Smeaton, near Northallerton, said after sizing up the 16 other teams in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge race from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua, he believed he and fellow oarsman Will North stand a strong chance of arriving first in their class.
Speaking from the start line in the Canary Islands, the 28-year-old Newcastle United fan said the pair’s final preparations had gone smoothly and they were eager for the race to get under way following two years of painstaking preparations.
The former pupil of Aysgarth School, near Bedale, said since arriving at La Gomera, they had ended their training programme and had concentrated on testing the 23ft boat and relaxing with their friends and family.
Mr Howie, whose parents David and Susie run a 1,000-head cattle farm, said: “We have been told by the organisers that we are extremely well organised, while fellow competitors have made comments about how big and fit we look following the last few months of training.
We seem in pretty good shape, so we have been spending time before the race posing for lots of photoshoots, putting car polish on the bottom of the boat and plugging small leaks that we have found.
I haven’t been sleeping too well because we have got a lot of things to do which we could easily forget about until we are out in the Atlantic and it will be too late.” The pair plan to row naked to avoid sea salt in clothes causing sores in a round the clock regime of two-hour shifts, and are aiming to complete the race in 40 days.
Mr. Howie's father was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009 and Mr North's father with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2006 and they have raised £100,000 for Cancer Research, Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, and St Anna's Children's Home and School, in Ghana.”