A FORMER Great Sankey High School pupil, who admits he has never been in a boat before, is bracing himself for a challenge even an Olympic rower found tough.
Matt Inglesby, of Winwick Park, will be braving the elements for a month as he hopes to break the current world record of 32 days rowing the 3,000 mile distance across the Atlantic Ocean.
The courageous 21-year-old is taking on the ‘world’s toughest rowing challenge’ to raise cash for his friend Kerry Greenfield, from Widnes, in the hope of helping her walk again after she was born with spina bifida occulta with tethered cord syndrome.
Despite not having a support boat and sleeping in a tiny cabin on the boat known as the ‘coffin’, the Evertonian jokes his biggest worry is his dad not texting him the scores while he is away.
Matt, who works at the Crossfit Faction gym in Widnes, added: “It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was 16 and now I’ve finally managed to save up enough to pay for it.
“I saw James Cracknell and Ben Fogle do it on TV and I’ve always been an outdoors person since I was a kid.
“I’ve been training a lot on the rower at the gym as the organisers said you can’t get into a rhythm on choppy waves at sea so all you can do is stick your oar in and pull.
“I’m excited as it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity but I understand a lot can go wrong that would stop us from beating the record.”
Matt flies to Gran Canaria on Saturday to meet his seven team mates for the first time ahead of them rowing to Barbados.
The group will be rowing in a shift pattern of four hours on, four hours off.
Matt added: “I’m an only child so I think my mum and dad are nervous but they know it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while.
“It would mean a lot if I could add to Kerry‘s fundraising total for the ‘ReWalk’ machine and give her that extra bit of freedom rather than having to rely on others.”
Track Matt’s progress via oceanusrowing.com/titanrow and donate by visiting gofundme.com/6acu8o.