A South Tyneside police officer embarking on a trans-Atlantic test of endurance for charity has said farewell to the vessel he will call home for two months.
Sergeant Sean McGuigan put the final touches to his boat yesterday.
It is now making its way to La Gomera, Spain, where it will be checked by race officials ahead of the Talisker Whiskey Challenge, taking place in December.
Sgt McGuigan has been in training for the 3,000 mile test of endurance race, since last year. It will see him and fellow rower Andy Warner make their way across the Atlantic Ocean from the Canary Islands to Antigua.
They will even spend Christmas Day aboard the boat.
The pair, who will be competing against four other teams in the Pure Class category, are raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Society and St Clare’s Hospice.
Without the sponsors this would not have been possible.Sean Mcguigan
Sgt McGuigan said: “It feels good to see the boat heading off. A lot of time and effort has been put into it, to get it race ready. It will now be inspected by race officials. It has been hard work right from the start to bring in the sponsors and to raise the necessary funds, but it’s all been worth it and hopefully a lot of money will be raised for charity.”
Sgt McGuigan’s dedication and determination to making the challenge a reality has been praised by Chief Superintendent for South Area Command Andy McDyer.
He said: “We are really proud of what Sean has achieved. He has invested his own time and energy into raising the money needed to make this happen.
“He will be spending two months rowing across the Atlantic and at the end of it will have hopefully raised lots of money for charity.
“This speaks volume of the kind of people we have working within the police service, that they also want to support the local communities they serve.”
Sgt McGuigan added: “Without the sponsors this wouldn’t have been possible, so I would like to say thank you to everyone who has offered their support and hopefully we can raise lots of money for the charities.”
The pair have been sponsored by a number of companies including DC Iron and Thrift Energy.
A sportsman dinner will be held at Blaydon Rugby Club on Friday October 16 featuring ‘Supermac’ Malcolm MacDonald.
Tickets are £35 and include a three-course meal and entertainment.
For information on sponsoring the pair and for tickets visit http://www.northeastatlanticchallenge.co.uk.