Redditch Rob's next big challenge - row the mighty Atlantic Ocean - The Redditch Standard
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12th Aug, 2022

Redditch Rob's next big challenge - row the mighty Atlantic Ocean

Ross Crawford 25th Mar, 2022

BIG-HEARTED Redditch fundraiser Rob Oliver is limbering up to take on his next mind blowing challenge – rowing the Atlantic in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge 2024.

Rob’s already scaled the Three Peaks and cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats (LeJoG) with his mates, Team Deadlegz, and all for good causes.

One half of the band Pale Riders, lockdown saw him playing along with GlastonBeoley’s Debbie Joynes in a special celebration of the 30th birthday of hard working Redditch midwife Jess James-Hill.

Now, “after a conversation with myself” he’s preparing to go beyond all reasonable tasks to take on the gruelling 3,000 mile journey from La Gomera in the Canaries to Antigua in the Caribbean, rowing all the way in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge 2024.

He won’t be alone, he’ll be joined by three shipmates, with two already confirmed, and a third waiting to come aboard.

“I just fancied taking it up a notch, to push myself more,” he said. “More people have been into space than rowed the Atlantic.

“I also think people like to see an element of doubt over whether you’ll succeed of not.”

And he admits there’s a long way to go before they even reach the start line.

“After LeJoG I foolishly let the weight start to creep on so I’m in the early stages of working on the fitness side,” said Rob, lives in Webheath.

“Then we have to get the sponsors, both corporate sponsors and support from local people, so I’m directly appealing for help to get us started.”

The boat will be a 23ft rowing boat with a cabin at either end. The aim is to buy a fully kitted out second hand one from this year’s challenge to keep costs down.

He and his shipmates will take it in turns to row, two hours on, two hours off throughout the 24 hours of each day.

“You have to be pretty comfortable with the idea of doing it, even though it won’t be comfortable actually doing it,” said Rob.

After securing a boat they’ll then have to learn new skills, including navigation and survival at sea, before having to qualify by rowing for 120 hours, including a night passage.

Setting off in December 2024, the voyage is expected to take between 40 and 60 days, depending on the weather and fitness levels, and will include Christmas at sea.

Team Deadlegz plan to raise money for a variety of good causes.

To support them, visit: https://deadlegz.co.uk/

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