Hornchurch rower battles hurricane in cross-Atlantic bid

PUBLISHED: 16:01 18 January 2016 | UPDATED: 16:13 18 January 2016

Captain James, second left, and team

Captain James, second left, and team


More people have travelled into space and tackled Mount Everest than rowed 3,000 miles across the Atlantic – but that hasn’t stopped four daredevils from trying.

The team about to set sail The team about to set sail

Former Abbs Cross Academy student James Timbs-Harrison, 33, and three friends – James Kendall, Liam Browning and Stuart Markland – are currently taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

All Beans No Monkeys – a name referencing their university boat club motto – are 30 days into their row from La Gomera near Tenerife to Antigua in the Caribbean, and have a bout of bad luck in their bid.

The guys trained for two years for the race and have rowed more than 1,750 miles. They are 6th out of 26 teams and also top of their category, pure fours – pure referring the fact they must generate all of their power from rowing alone.

But Danny Button, of Gidea Park, a school friend of James’s, revealed they’ve seen off a rather large obstacle already.

"They couldn’t row for 50 hours because of a storm, which was later classed as a hurricane – the first in the Atlantic in January since 1938"

Friend Danny Button on the team’s bad luck

“They’ve been unlucky,” he said. “Last week they couldn’t row for 50 hours because of a storm, which was later classed as a hurricane – the first in the Atlantic in January since 1938.

“He was a bit shaken up, they were stuck in a tiny cabin about 7ft long, and they’re all big lads – James is 6ft 6in. He said it was like being in a washing machine, they were just getting thrown about.”

The race is completely unaided, bar a support boat. All their food was taken on board at the start and they have a water maker to make the sea water drinkable.

“They are due to finish on February 1,” added Danny. “They’re very confident and are so pleased to be rowing again after the hurricane.”

They guys are raising funds for The Cystic Fibrosis Trust and RNLI and have raised just under £17,000 of their £30,000 target.

Donations can be made via the team’s website,

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