Epic Rowers Should Arrive On Tuesday

atlantic rowersThe two men rowing across the Atlantic to raise cash for the Children’s Hospice South West are expected to arrive on St Mary’s on Tuesday.

The exact arrival time depends on sea and weather conditions, but their support team want as many islanders and visitors as possible to welcome Elliott Dale and Chris ‘Darby’ Walters back to Britain.

St Mary’s Harbourmaster Dale Clark says he’ll close the quay to vehicles so the waterfront can fill up with well-wishers.

Jamie McNeil has overseen the project, which saw the men depart New York on June 7th in their bespoke boat, the top vessel in the ocean rowing fleet.

The men have been rowing in two-hour shifts through the nights and sharing the duties hourly during the day.

But they’ve been frustrated by the weather, spending around eight days at sea anchor because of poor conditions.

From Radio Scilly

Jamie McNeil talks to Radio Scilly about the challenge…

A flotilla of boats from the islands and the rowers’ friends from Dorset will accompany the men in.

Chris’ partner Karen has also asked if she can row out with a St Mary’s gig club crew.

Jamie is hoping there’ll be an “overwhelming” welcome for the men when they arrive with plenty of people on the quay. The hospice is also planning a reception and everyone is invited to make it a huge party, he says.

“They’ll probably be a bit wobbly when they come ashore,” says Jamie, but should be fine after a drop of cider!

Jamie says the men will come in as quickly as they can and they won’t delay their arrival until daylight when more people are likely to be around, even if they reach Scilly in the small hours.

Speaking on a satellite phone, rower Elliott Dale said they’re both looking forward to steak and burgers after running out of gas and having no hot food.

And Chris says he intends to get very drunk “and be an embarrassment” when he finally gets onto dry land!

The men have attempted to break the 1896 record set by Norwegians Samuelson and Harbo, but independent observer Jim Cameron says the Dorset men’s crossing has been so different, and they’ll be setting a new record for an unaided crossing.