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Twins aim to make rowing history

By Herald Express  |  Posted: October 27, 2011

ATLANTIC CHALLENGE: From left, Hugo Turner, Ross Turner, Greg Symondson and Adam Wolley

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TEIGN Valley twins Hugo and Ross Turner are part of a four-man crew embarking on a crossing of the Atlantic Ocean to raise money for charity.

The 23-year-old brothers from Christow will row across the vast expanse of water for Spinal Research in December.

The charity has a special meaning for Hugo, who fractured a vertebrae when he was 17 years old.

Dubbed the Atlantic4, Ross and Hugo will be joined by friends Greg Symondson and Adam Wolley.

If all goes to plan, they will set world records for being the youngest four-man crew and the first twins to row across any ocean in the world.

The foursome will depart the UK in six weeks' time for the race which will take them from the Canary Islands to Barbados — a total distance of 2,935 miles.

The boat, which will be the home to them for the two months, has been made by a team of five dedicated boat builders at Totnes-based Woodvale Works Ltd.

It is the fourth fully carbon version of its kind ever built.

It was launched at the London Rowing Club in Putney on Thursday, September 29, in front of their friends and family.

They are taking part to raise £150,000 for Spinal Research.

The charity is particularly close to the twins' hearts after Hugo fractured a vertebrae when his head hit a sand bank while sea diving in Cornwall.

The injury threatened to leave him paralysed for life. Fortunately, the spinal cord was not damaged and he has since made a full recovery.

He said: "I consider myself to be extremely lucky, but know many other people are not so fortunate. Spinal Research does incredible work and by raising this money we hope to increase awareness of this incredible charity and contribute some funds towards the work it does."

Despite having the latest in high-tech survival and navigational equipment, life on board will be cramped with the only shelter from the elements being an eight-foot space — barely the size of a single bed.

Hugo said: "The most crucial member of our team is our boat and, as we prepare for this challenge of a lifetime, getting to know our boat will be vital.

"It is hard to imagine what life on board might be like so we felt the best way to get this across to our supporters was to show them the boat."

The Atlantic4 crew depart for the Canary Islands on Tuesday, November 15 for some last minute preparation. The race begins on Sunday, December 4.

To follow their progress visit www.theatlantic4.com

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