Tough cops prepare for 3,000-mile Atlantic rowing challenge

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Two South Tyneside policeman are heading into the final stretch as they prepare to attempt a world record in a trans-Atlantic endurance test.

Neighbourhood Sergeant Sean McGuigan has been in training ahead of a 3,000 mile row from the Canary Islands to Antigua for charity, since last year.

He had originally been set to take part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge alongside Pc Paul Snowdon.

However, after an injury forced Paul to pull out Andy Warner, who Sean met through the Sub 7 Rowing Club, has stepped in to take his place.

With only months to go, Sean is carrying out the final checks on the boat before it is transported to La Gomera ahead of the race.

The duo will fly out at the end of November to undergo final boat checks ahead of hitting the water on December 15 for the challenge.

Everything has been going really well in terms of training.

Sean McGuigan

They will have 90 days in which to complete the challenge, however, they are aiming to do it in 40 days - the current record is 42.

Sgt McGuigan said: “The boat leaves next Friday for La Gomera so we are carrying out the last minute finishing touches before it goes.

“Everything has been going really well in terms of training and we are now up to at least 30,000 metres a day.

“It has been really hard fitting the training in around work but we are in the final few months now.

“I’m just really excited now, I just want to get started. I feel like a kid at Christmas.”

The pair aim to row for 24-hours-a-day in two-hour slots and are raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society and St Clare’s Hospice.

The pair aim to row for 24-hours-a-day in two-hour slots in a bid to smash the current record.

They will set off from La Gomera harbour in the Canary Islands and finish at the English Harbour in Antigua.

The pair are being sponsored in their endeavour by Thrift Energy and DC Iron as well as other companies. They have been supplied with safety kit from Jotron who supply marine safety equipment.

A formal send off dinner for the pair will be held on Friday October 16 at Blaydon Rugby Club.

After dinner speeches will be given by Supermac Malcolm Macdonald.

Tickets, priced £35, include a three course meal, live band, games and more.

For more information and to help in helping to sponsor the pair’s mission, visit