''My amazing friend Ed Ogden and his 'This Way Up!' four man team have been at sea for a month, looking to be the fastest of 42 boats to row the 3,000 miles across the Atlantic and competing for the coveted Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. Ed, along with Oliver Browne, James Peet and Jos Pape, as a team will be rowing 24 hours a day in shifts of roughly two hours on and two hours off. They are also rowing unsupported, meaning they are carrying all of their equipment, supplies and food (and 4 sneaky mince pies for Christmas Day) on board. This ocean crossing endeavour really is a remarkable test of the four's mental and physical strength.
'This Way Up!' are competing for more than just first place, they are almost at their goal of raising £250,000 for Starlight UK, a charity who use the power of play to make the experience of illness and treatment better for children and their families. With young children of their own, they wanted to support Starlight.
''The four of them set off from San Sebastián in the Canary Islands in December and they hope to arrive on Friday 13th January, where their families, friends and children will be waiting for them in Nelson's Dockyard Harbour in Antigua after this epic voyage! It's been a long time to wait for a Christmas hug, though they've assured us there are sun loungers and exotic cocktails to hand on their arrival.
''So it's now the home stretch, pretty consistently in second place, with just a few more days to go and I'm sending all my love and support to Ed and the team. The big 30 ft waves hopefully behind them, and no more cleaning of the bottom of the boat mid Atlantic! If you want to follow the final stages of the race, you can track their progress here. And if you feel inspired (I am so inspired and have donated as I know I would not survive more than a few nights at sea in a small boat…) at the start of a new year by their incredible endeavour and would like to donate to Starlight UK, they would be so thrilled.''