Daring Islington adventurer youngest ever to row across two oceans
PUBLISHED: 11:07 15 September 2014 | UPDATED: 11:07 15 September 2014
A daring adventurer has become the youngest man to row across two oceans after an exhausting three-month crusade through apocalyptic storms.
Jamie Sparks, 22, of Duncan Terrace, Islington, was part of a four man team that arrived in the Seychelles on Wednesday – having travelled 3,370 nautical miles across the Indian Ocean in 71 days, 14 hours and 51 minutes – setting a new world record for a quartet.
The gargantuan row came just four months after Mr Sparks and his pal Luke Birch arrived in the Caribbean, having hauled themselves across the Atlantic in 54 days – becoming the youngest pair to cross that ocean.
But his latest crusade, which also saw him set yet another record for the shortest interval between rowing two oceans, was the most difficult.
“The Indian Ocean is a nightmare to cross compared to the Atlantic,” said Mr Sparks
“With the Atlantic the waves push you in the right direction but this time we had 35 metre waves bashing against the boat.
“Two of us would be rowing at the same time and we did it in 2 hour intervals – you then had to eat, wash and sleep in that time, so you never got more than 45 minutes sleep at once.
“My crew mates had never rowed an ocean before so they had incredibly soar bums and groins – you’re literally constantly wet and you suffer from horrible rashes.”
Mr Sparks and the rest of The Fast Row West crew were raising money for Enham Trust, a charity supporting disabled people to live how they choose.
So far they have raised £35,000, but hope to raise this to £75,000 now they have returned to land,
“There are huge charities out there that get a lot of support and I would always encourage donations to them, but we wanted to support a smaller charity.
“The disabled people that Enham Trust help have dreams just like us but might not be able to pursue them because of their disability, and they were born that way.
“I want to help better their lives.”
The crew were met by cheering locals and family and friends when they docked after their journey, which Mr Sparks said was an incredible feeling.
“It’s great being back on land, we were met by flares and you get to see your family and your girlfriend.
“The best thing about taking on such a massive challenge like this is that when it’s over it allows you to think really clearly about what you want to do next.
“I’m 22 and I’ve been rowing for three years. I’m going to hang up the oars but I want to keep challenging myself and break more records.”
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