The first pair to row the Indian Ocean cross the finish line
On Thursday 30th July at 16.40 GMT, after 102 days, 13 hours and 40 minutes at sea, Andrew Delaney and Guy Watts became the first pair to row across the Indian Ocean. The pair, both from Horsham, West Sussex began their epic voyage on the 19th April 2009 from Geraldton, Western Australia and finished at the Grand Baie Yacht Club, Mauritius.
The 3,100 nautical mile crossing was treacherous from start to finish. The first weeks proved to be some of the toughest with four of the original teams forced to abandon the race. Andrew and Guy with their boat, ‘Flying Ferkins’ battled on regardless with messages of support from both Bear Grylls and Ben Fogle motivating them along the way.
They went on to face 30 knot winds, 8 metre swells, adverse currents and a relentless daily routine.
As Guy and Andrew entered the finishing leg of the race, the months at sea and subsequent sleep deprivation almost caught up with them with disastrous consequences as they found themselves in the path of an oncoming freight ship.
Against all the odds ‘Flying Ferkins’ went on to claim five world records and broke two Woodvale records. The records are as follows;
• 1st Pairs team (assisted or otherwise) across the Indian Ocean
• 1st Pairs team (unassisted) to have crossed
• 1st Pairs team (unassisted) to have rowed land to land across the Indian Ocean
• Fastest pair across the Indian Ocean
• Fastest Pairs crossing land to land
In addition to these world records ‘Flying Ferkins’ achieved a race fleet record 24 hour mileage of 72nm jointly with Pura Vida. The boys also managed a 7 day record, rowing 449nm over the 7 days between 19th and 26th July. An average daily mileage of 64nm.
During the two year project Guy and Andrew have been raising awareness and money for Orchid, the only UK charity to focus entirely on male specific cancers. If you wish to support this cause please follow this link.
Guy said; ‘Words can’t describe what it means to me to have completed this race, the sense of relief is enormous and it is something that I never believed we could actually achieve. This would not have been possible without the support of friends, family and all our sponsors. It has been a real priviledge to undertake such a unique adventure whilst also being able to raise money and awareness for such a good cause.’
Andrew said; ‘Our priority for this was race was to safely cross the Indian Ocean, however to come away with five world records is an unbelievable dream come true. The land to land world record is particularly special to us both because it will always belong to ‘Flying Ferkins’. A highlight from the trip was to see a blue whale 25 metres from the boat during a sunset and numerous bronze whalers (sharks)’.
Rebecca Porta, director of Orchid: “Male cancer affects over 37,000 men p.a. in the UK and in many cases the disease will have spread before diagnosis making it far harder to treat – men need to sit up and take notice of their health and awareness generated through such events as the Indian Ocean rowing race can only help in our fight against male cancers. The funds raised through Guy and Andrew’s efforts will help in Orchid’s pioneering research into the causes, diagnosis and treatment of prostate, penile and testicular cancer.”
For further information about Team MSS and the race please visit the website.