Islington daredevil’s attempt to smash Atlantic record
- Credit: Archant
An adventurous 21-year-old from Islington has begun a gruelling race across the Atlantic Ocean in a small rowing boat.
James Sparks, from Duncan Terrace, set off from Spain in his 26ft-long vessel last Wednesday and could spend up to a 100 days on the 3,000 mile voyage across the world’s second largest body of water.
James and school friend Luke Birch, also 21, will alternate rowing and sleeping for two hours at a time, 24 hours a day, live on freeze dried food and battle the elements all the way to Antigua – in the Caribbean – as they aim to be the youngest ever team to complete the challenge.
Caroline Barkham, James’s mother, said: “I feel disbelief that it’s actually happening, as so many teams drop out before it starts.
“The first night was awful. At the start it was great, really exciting, with lots of feedback.
You may also want to watch:
“Then you realise they are out there on their own at night.
“If they don’t get through the first week they will be so disappointed, so we’ll be relieved when they do that. Then I can feel proud.”
- 1 Islington Council caretaker charged with rape and aggravated burglary
- 2 Islington signs deal to secure homes for Afghan refugees
- 3 Five reasons why Dalston is one of the coolest places in the world
- 4 Stunning photos show how King's Cross has changed in 20 years
- 5 Helen Anderson: CCTV appeal to trace witnesses to Finsbury Park mum's murder
- 6 Jeremy Corbyn to hold ‘alternative Cop26’ in Scotland
- 7 Highbury church St Joan of Arc marks Covid-delayed centenary
- 8 TfL told to introduce 'pay per mile' charge to motorists
- 9 E-scooter rider suffers head injuries in Holloway Road crash
- 10 Essex Road Sainsbury's closed for deep cleaning after rats filmed crawling over croissants
James spent a tough two weeks training for the event in Spain, including deliberately putting on weight for a journey that will see him lose half a kilo every day.
“By the end all he wanted was fat,” said Mrs Barkham. “He was melting down ice cream and drinking it. It was horrible to watch.
“They have to be completely self-sufficient while they are out there – desalinating their own water and so on. Although they have fresh water for emergencies, they get penalised if they drink any.
“They have to strike a balance between the race and survival.
“Although it is a physical challenge, it’s a huge feat of mental endurance.
“James has always liked putting himself out of his comfort zone. It’s not that he doesn’t get scared, he is almost addicted to the feeling of being scared.”
The team – dubbed 2 Boys in a Boat – hope to raise £100,000 for Breast Cancer Care.